SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Coast Guard Sector San Juan Captain of the Port, Capt. Drew Pearson, set Port Condition YANKEE at 10 a.m, Wednesday for all the ports in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico due to incoming Tropical Storm Isaac.
During Port Condition YANKEE (gale force winds are anticipated to make landfall within 24 hours) the ports in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are open to outbound vessel traffic only, while commercial inbound vessels are restricted from entering the port.
Vessels greater than 200 gross tons currently in port should get underway at this time, while all other vessels remaining in port are to take appropriate precautionary measures to secure their vessels.
During Port Condition YANKEE, facilities should commence termination of cargo handling operations.
Port Condition ZULU will take effect at 8p.m. Wednesday for the ports in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Port Condition ZULU will take effect at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday the following ports in Puerto Rico: Guayama, Ponce, Guayanilla, Yabucoa and Mayaguez. All other ports in Puerto Rico will remain at Port Condition YANKEE until further notice.
During Port Condition ZULU port operations will officially be suspended and the ports will remain closed to all incoming and outgoing vessel traffic until otherwise directed by the Captain of the Port.
All intra-island ferries in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands transiting ports under Port Condition YANKEE must cease operations and be secured at their designated mooring facility when Port Condition ZULU is in place for their respective port.
Mariners, 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.
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. Trailerable 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 to be diverted from a real emergency.