OceanGrafix Alerts Mariners to Possible Paper Chart Changes Due to Hurricanes

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Hurricane damage can cause paper charts and electronic navigation systems to become inaccurate.

But there also can be very dramatic, permanent changes of which boaters must be aware. As many as 300 obstructions to navigation were charted by NOAA subsequent to Hurricane Katrina. Boaters can only know of such changes if they update their nautical charts based on the Notices to Mariners or, better yet, if they get updated NOAA charts.

OceanGrafix, the first and only company to offer NOAA print-on-demand nautical charts, today reminded mariners that hurricane activity may result in cartographic changes that make mariners' charts inaccurate. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting an above-normal hurricane season for 2008, with up to 16 named storms and up to five major hurricanes. Hurricane season extends from June 1 through November 30.

"Immediate dangers, such as debris, exist right after a storm, and aids to navigation are often destroyed," says Richard Sillcox, chief of the Chart Updates Service at NOAA. "But there also can be very dramatic, permanent changes of which boaters must be aware. As many as 300 obstructions to navigation were charted by NOAA subsequent to Hurricane Katrina. Boaters can only know of such changes if they update their nautical charts based on the Notices to Mariners or, better yet, if they get updated NOAA charts."

Through its exclusive relationship with NOAA, OceanGrafix daily receives chart files updated by NOAA cartographers with important Notice to Mariners changes. As a result, the NOAA charts distributed by OceanGrafix incorporate all the critical corrections from the weekly notices. The charts are printed "on-demand," meaning only after an order has been placed.

"If storm surges move submerged obstructions or create shoals, paper charts (and electronic navigation systems that pull data from these same charts) quickly can become outdated," explains OceanGrafix President Dave DeGree. "In areas affected by hurricane activity, it is especially important that mariners keep informed about Notice to Mariners changes and either record the latest updates or purchase new charts."

About OceanGrafix:
St. Paul, Minnesota-based OceanGrafix (http://www.oceangrafix.com) is the first and only company to offer NOAA print-on-demand nautical charts for recreational and commercial boaters. Working in partnership with NOAA, the company ensures distribution of the most accurate, up-to-date NOAA paper charts.

For media inquiries:
Larry Kocon
651-726-5602
larry.kocon @ oceangrafix.com

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