Captain of the Port decreases Port Condition to modified YANKEE, in South Florida

Southeastern Coast Guard NewsMIAMI — Effective 9 a.m. Monday, Coast Guard Captain of the Port, Capt. Chris Scraba, changed port conditions for the Port of Miami, Miami River, Port Everglades, and Port of Palm Beach to modified YANKEE during post storm assessment of all maritime facilities, waterways and bridges in South Florida.

Post-storm survey teams led by the Army Corps of Engineers, Biscayne Bay Pilots Association, Port Everglades Pilots Association, West Palm Beach Pilots Association, U.S. Coast Guard stations, and U. S. Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Teams conducted a first-light waterside assessment of all Aids to Navigation and have confirmed they are currently in place, no salvage operations are necessary, and channels appear clear at this time.

Off-shore weather and feeder bands from Tropical Storm Isaac have, however, affected the ability to conduct an aerial assessment and continue to make it unsafe to re-open the ports to commercial traffic until a complete assessment can be conducted early this afternoon.

During Port Condition modified YANKEE, all affected ports are closed to inbound commercial vessel traffic.  The combined team efforts of Customs and Border Protection, local port authorities and Coast Guard port inspection teams have facilitated the opening of all landside terminal and facility operations and have made it possible for the ports to begin to receive commercial vessel traffic as soon as it is safe for commercial traffic to enter the ports.  Early morning facility assessments found only minor damage with no personnel injuries.

It has been deemed safe for the Fisher Island Ferry to resume normal operations as of 12 p.m. Monday.

Waterways will open once post-storm survey teams have confirmed that the winds and seas have dissipated to safely carry out vessel transit through the main ship channel and into port.

The Coast Guard is reminding the public of these important safety messages:

  • Stay off the water. Boaters should heed weather watches, warnings and small craft advisories.
  • Stay clear of beaches. Wave heights and currents typically increase during severe weather conditions. Even the best swimmers can fall victim to the strong waves and rip currents caused by hurricanes. Swimmers should stay clear of beaches until local lifeguards and law enforcement officials determine the water is safe.
  • Stay informed. The public should monitor the progress and strength of Tropical Storm Isaac 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.

The public is reminded to notify the National Response Center at (800) 424-8802 of any sunken vessels, pollution in the water, suspicious activity, and unsafe conditions.  For inquiries regarding local cruise ship schedules, please contact the individual cruise lines.

Coast Guard Sector Miami Commander and Captain of the Port, Capt. Chris Scraba, said, “We greatly appreciate the cooperation of the maritime community; there are currently no open search and rescue cases for our area of responsibility. Please continue to heed the warnings and remain out of harm’s way until this storm passes completely and all hazards from rip currents and high winds and seas have subsided.”

For information on Tropical Storm Isaac’s progress and hurricane preparedness, please visit the National Hurricane Center‘s web page

 

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