The U.S. Coast Guard has issued the following bulletin. It’s available on the agency’s website HERE
Coast Guard updates Port Conditions in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico due to Tropical Storm Dorian
U.S. Coast Guard sent this bulletin at 08/27/2019 08:59 PM EDT
U.S. Coast Guard 7th District Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands
Coast Guard updates Port Conditions in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico
“Tropical Storm Dorian”
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Effective 8 p.m. Tuesday, the Coast Guard Captain of the Port San Juan (COTP) set Port Condition YANKEE for all maritime ports in Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico due to Tropical Storm Dorian’s approach to the area.
During Port Condition YANKEE, sustained winds between 39 and 54 mph are possible within 24 hours. All ocean-going commercial vessels and ocean-going barges greater than 500 gross tons should leave the port no later than midnight, unless authorization has been given from the COTP to remain in port.
The COTP anticipates that Port Condition ZULU will be set for the maritime ports in Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico at 1 a.m. Wednesday.
During Port Condition ZULU, meaning sustained gale force winds are expected within 12 hours, the port will be closed to all commercial inbound and outbound vessel traffic until the storm has cleared the area and Coast Guard completes the necessary port assessments.
All other ports in Saint Thomas and Saint John, U.S. Virgin Islands remain in Port Condition X-Ray. Under Port Condition X-Ray, port operations and maritime traffic may continue until further notice.
Pleasure craft are advised to seek safe harbor. Port facilities are advised to review their heavy weather plans and take all necessary precautions to adequately prepare for the expected conditions.
The Coast Guard is advising the public of these important safety messages:
Stay off the water. The Coast Guard’s search and rescue capabilities degrade as storm conditions strengthen. This means help could be delayed. Boaters should heed weather watches, warnings and small craft advisories.
Secure belongings. Owners of large boats are urged to move their vessels to inland marinas where they will be less vulnerable to breaking free of their moorings or to sustaining damage. Trailer-able boats should be pulled from the water and stored in a place that is not prone to flooding. Those who are leaving their boats in the water are reminded to remove EPIRBs and to secure life rings, lifejackets and small boats. These items, if not properly secured, can break free and require valuable search and rescue resources be diverted to ensure people are not in distress.
Stay clear of beaches. Wave heights and currents typically increase before a storm makes landfall. Even the best swimmers can fall victim to the strong waves and rip currents caused by tropical storms or hurricanes. Swimmers should stay clear of beaches until local lifeguards and law enforcement officials say the water is safe.
Be prepared. Area residents should be prepared by developing a family plan, creating a disaster supply kit, having a place to go, securing their home and having a plan for pets. Information can be found at the National Hurricane Center’s webpage.
Stay informed. The public should monitor the progress and strength of the storm through local television, radio and Internet. Boaters can monitor its progress on VHF radio channel 16. Information can also be obtained on small craft advisories and warnings on VHF radio channel 16.
For information on Tropical Storm Dorian’s progress and hurricane preparedness, please visit the National Hurricane Center’s webpage.
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