SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Coast Guard Sector San Juan Captain of the Port maintained Port Condition X-RAY Tuesday for all the ports in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico due to the current projected path for Tropical Storm Erika.
During Port Condition X-RAY(48 hours before gale-force winds make landfall) all maritime operations including waterfront facility and vessel transits may occur until further notice and are subject to prudent seamanship and safe working practices.
The Coast Guard anticipates that the port condition may be increased to YANKEE on Wednesday for the ports in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, if the track for Tropical Storm Erika remains as forecasted.
During Port Condition X-RAY, inbound vessels greater than 500 gross tons need to communicate their intentions to remain in port to the local Coast Guard office. Container terminal operators shall reduce container stack heights to no more than three high, or propose alternate securing arrangements to the Captain of the Port. Waterfront facilities should be removing, and securing, potential flying debris, hazardous materials and pollutants from dockside areas.
Ports, facilities and operators should anticipate additional restrictions on inbound and outbound traffic as Tropical Strom Erika approaches. Mariners should prepare for impending severe weather prior to the anticipated arrival of gale force winds. The Captain of the Port may require additional precautions to ensure the safety of the ports and waterways.
Recreational vessel operators are advised to seek safe harbor. Owners of larger boats are urged to move their boats to inland marinas where they will be less vulnerable to breaking free of their moorings or 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 secure life rings, lifejackets and small boats. These items, if not secured properly, can break free and require valuable search and rescue resources be diverted and precluded from assisting people who may actually be in distress.
Owners and operators of recreational vessels should follow small craft advisories from the National Weather Service and take the necessary measures to safeguard the safety of their vessels, http://www.nhc.noaa.gov.