Capt. Paul, 

I was wondering the coordinates for the circle rigs out of Belle pass. This is a group of rigs in a circle with numerous artificial reefs made up of old oil rigs and military APC’s. I believe it is approximately 30 miles due south of the pass?

Thanks,TB

Capt. Paul’s response:

There are several offshore rigs commonly called the Circle Rigs. In the Louisiana southeast offshore these range from those east of South Pass of the Mississippi River and the ones commonly referred to as offshore in the Grand Isle area.

As you are concerned with the Belle Pass (Grand Isle) area, here is the info that I have on them:

There is a series of platforms that are located about 28.5 miles south (171° magnetic) from the RED # 2 Navaid marker at the beginning of the BELLE PASS REACH Channel. There are several that form what could be considered a circle, but I am not sure that these are your “Circle Rigs.”

The center of the group is located at or about 28° 40.455’ N. Latitude ~ 090° 09.334’ W. Longitude. The other five platforms are within a 3 mile radius of the above listed rig.

In addition, NOAA chart # 11366 ~ Approaches to the Miss. River, shows several “Fish Havens” in the area.

Leased Blocks 128, 134, 130, 189, 221 and several others in the SOUTH TIMBLAIER area have several artificial reefs. 

For information on all of these reefs, check out the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries website at http://gis.wlf.la.gov/flexviewers/artificial_reef_map/

As far as for how these reefs are made they have another site at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/sites/default/files/la_artificial_reef_program_arc_11.18.13.pdf

This site allows the user to view the areas and click on the indicators to obtain the coordinates and information on each site. 

The site lists over 15 artificial reefs in the area as well as lists the locations for the Armored Personnel Carriers (APC’s) under the in South Timbalier Leased Block 86 area.

Use caution when entering the LDWF positions as they are stated in DDD,MM,SS and sure to be determined by using NAD 27 Datum.

 Unless otherwise specified, all positions are stated as H,DDD,MM.mmm and were determined using WGS 84 DATUM. All Headings/bearings/courses are stated in Magnetic Degrees.

For those readers who may want the information concerning the Circle/Horseshoe reefs out of South Pass, there is a series of eight platforms that resemble a horseshoe, nearly a compete circle, with the open end facing south, they are located in Main Pass Leased Blocks 305 and 306. The northern most of these platforms is located at or about 29°13.906’ N. Latitude ~ 088°33.784’ W. Longitude.

From the beginning of the entrance channel to SOUTH PASS of the Mississippi River at Aid to Navigation (ATON) buoy, RED NUN marked R# 2, which is located at or about 28°58.695’ N. Latitude ~ 89°06.518’W. Longitude, the southwestern most platform is about 35.3 Miles @ 64° Magnetic. This southwestern most platform is located 29°11.982’ N. Latitude ~ 088°34.964’W. Longitude.

From Venice you should navigate to the Head of Passes, into SOUTH PASS until you reach the end Red #2 ATON at the beginning of the pass. From there the platforms are about 35 miles away on a heading of 64° magnetic.

These platforms they are placed around a salient rise in the sea bed. This rise is only 32 fathoms (192 feet deep) whereas the rest of the sea bed to the south and south east is 90 to 107 fathoms deep. I checked the area on MAPTECH’s CONTOUR 3-D CHART and noted that part of the rise that is most prominent is between the two southern most platforms and is at or around 29°11.988’ N. Latitude ~ 88°34.267’ W. Longitude. 

I would get a copy of at least two NOAA Marine charts prior to making the trip. Begin with Chart #11361 – Mississippi River Delta, and then 1115A – Leased Blocks, Cape St. George to the Mississippi River. 

Unless otherwise specified, all positions are stated as H,DDD,MM.mmm and were determined using WGS 84 DATUM. All Headings/bearings/courses are stated in Magnetic Degrees. 

— Capt. Paul