Captain of the Port Sets Condition Yankee for JACKSONVILLE

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The captain of the port for Jacksonville has established port readiness condition Yankee at 6 p.m. for coastal Jacksonville and outlying areas due to the potential impacts from Tropical Storm Fay.

Threatening winds of 39 miles-per-hour from Tropical Storm Fay are possible along the coast within 24 hours. All inbound vessel traffic must have the permission of the Captain of the Port to enter.

All oceangoing commercial vessels and oceangoing barges greater than 500 gross tons are to make plans for departing the port area. Vessels desiring to remain in port must immediately contact the Captain of the Port to receive permission to do so and are required to submit a safe mooring plan in writing. All oceangoing commercial vessels and oceangoing barges greater than 500 gross tons that have not received permission from the Captain of the Port to remain in port must depart four hours before gale forced winds if not sooner.

Port facilities are advised to review their heavy weather plan and take all necessary precautions to adequately prepare for the expected conditions.

The Coast Guard is warning 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. That is why boaters should heed to weather watches, warnings and small craft advisories.

* Evacuate as necessary. If mandatory evacuations are set for an area, the public should evacuate without delay. Coast Guard personnel and other emergency responders may not be able to evacuate those in danger during the storm.

* Secure belongs. 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 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 to ensure they are not actually people 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 Storm Fay. Swimmers should stay clear of beaches until local lifeguards and law enforcement officials say the water is safe.

* Be prepared. Area residents should 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 Nation Hurricane Center’s webpage.

* Stay informed. The public should monitor the progress and strength of Tropical Storm Fay 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 how to prepare your boat or trailer for a hurricane, visit the Coast Guard Stormcenter website.

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

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