Captain of the Port sets Port Condition YANKEE for the U.S. Virgin Islands, WHISKEY for Puerto Rico

Southeastern Coast Guard NewsSAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Coast Guard Sector San Juan Captain of the Port, Capt. Drew Pearson, set Port Condition YANKEE for all the ports in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Port Condition WHISKEY for all the ports in Puerto Rico at 10p.m. Friday due to incoming Tropical Storm Rafael.

Port Condition YANKEE in U.S. Virgin Islands

During Port Condition YANKEE (gale force winds are anticipated to make landfall within 24 hours) the ports in the U.S. Virgin Islands 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 WHISKEY in Puerto Rico

During Port Condition WHISKEY (72 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. Commercial vessel and facility operators should plan for contingencies and review vessel schedules for arrivals and departures to and from maritime facilities.

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 request in writing from the Captain of the Port, prior to the setting of Port Condition X-Ray, permission to remain in port.

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”

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

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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