Captain of the Port to set condition Zulu for Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The captain of the port for Jacksonville will establish port readiness condition Zulu at midnight Tuesday for the port of Jacksonville coastal area due to the potential impacts from Tropical Storm Fay.

The port of Jacksonville will be closed to all inbound vessel traffic immediately while in this port condition; however, the St. John’s river ferry will continue to operate until sustained gale forced winds are reached.

Additional information will be provided after a post-storm assessment of the port is conducted and an appropriate port readiness condition is established.

“Our priority is to ensure the sustainability of critical port infrastructure while minimizing commercial disruption,” said Capt. Paul Thomas, Jacksonville captain of the port.

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 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 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, please click here.

For information on the progress of Fay and hurricane preparedness, please visit the National Hurricane Center’s web page at the following link – http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/.

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