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What does it mean when the National Weather Service talks about Topsail Box Cars, Ten Mile Box Cars?

Q. Recently while I was listening to the National Weather Service for the Southport area the report gave conditions at ‘Topsail Box Cars’, ‘Ten Mile Box Cars’ and ‘Five Mile Box Cars’. I have never heard those names before. Can you explain what/where those/they are?

A. The boxcars are actually offshore wrecks used as landmarks in forecasts, according to the National Weather Service.

The wrecks are artificial reefs made from train box cars and other materials.  The Topsail sets are often referred to as the first set of boxcars (AR362), second set (AR366) and third set (AR368). Those numbers refer to GPS locations on a map here: http://www.topsailangler.com/wiki/Category:GPS-Locations

Here is a map and story that locates Five Mile Box Cars (AR 372) and Ten Mile Box Cars (AR 376).


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