Coast Guard sets Port Condition X-RAY for St. Croix, Port Condition Whiskey for southern Puerto Rico

7th Coast Guard District News

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Coast Guard Sector San Juan Captain of the Port, Capt. Drew Pearson, set Port Condition’s X-RAY for all the ports in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands and WHISKEY for all the ports in southern Puerto Rico at 8 p.m. Saturday, due to Tropical Storm Irene.

U.S. Virgin Islands

The Captain of the Port may increase the port condition in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands to YANKEE by 8 a.m. Sunday, if the storm track for Tropical Storm Irene remains as forecasted.

All other ports in St. Thomas and St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands will continue normal operations until further notice.

During Port Condition X-RAY, all maritime operations including waterfront facility and vessel transits may occur until further notice and are subject to prudent seamanship and safe working practices. Waterfront facilities should be removing potential flying debris, hazardous materials and pollutants from dockside areas. All oceangoing vessels greater than 200 gross tons should make preparations to leave the port at this time or have received permission from the Captain of the Port to remain in port. Vessels unable to depart the port must contact the Captain of the Port and submit a safe mooring plan in writing when requesting and prior to receiving permission to remain in port.

Puerto Rico

Ports in southern Puerto Rico including Guayama, Yabucoa, Ponce, Guayanilla, Guanica and Mayaguez will remain at Port Condition WHISKEY, while all other ports in Puerto Rico will continue normal operations until further notice.

During Port Conditions WHISKEY, all oceangoing commercial vessels and oceangoing barges greater than 200 gross tons should make plans for departing the port. 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. Vessels bound for this port, which are unable to depart 24 hours prior to threatening winds making landfall, are advised to seek an alternate destination.

“WARNING”

Inbound vessels that will be unable to depart the port upon the setting of Port Condition YANKEE are advised to seek an alternate destination.

Ports, facilities and operators should anticipate additional restrictions on inbound and outbound traffic as Tropical Storm Irene approaches.

Mariners should prepare for impending severe weather prior to the anticipated arrival of gale force winds or when an evacuation is in progress.

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.

Pleasure craft 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 to ensure they are not actually people in distress

Future port conditions cannot be predicted with any degree of certainty, but provided the storm remains on the projected course and track, port stakeholders can expect the established progression of port conditions.

 

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