Coast Guard returns to port condition WHISKEY for Palm Beach, Fort Pierce

MIAMI – Effective 2 p.m. Wednesday, the Captain of the Port, Coast Guard Capt. James Fitton, downgraded the Ports of Palm Beach, Fla., and Fort Pierce, Fla., from port condition X-RAY to WHISKEY. According to National Hurricane Center, Tropical Storm Hanna is not expected impact South Florida directly, but the COTP will continue to monitor Tropical Storm Hanna and Hurricane Ike for changes. Mariners must be ready to adjust operations accordingly.

Hurricane Condition WHISKEY is set when sustained gale force winds within the range of 39 to 54 mph from a hurricane force storm are predicted within 72 hours.

Mariners are reminded that there are no safe havens in the port areas listed and that the port is safest when the inventory of vessels is at a minimum. Both oceangoing and inland vessels and barges over 500 gross tons that wish to remain in the ports listed above must submit a Remaining in Port Checklist to the Captain of the Port and should contact the Prevention Office immediately at (305) 535-8725. If and when Condition YANKEE is set, vessel movement will be restricted and allowed only on a case-by-case basis by approval of the COTP. All vessels expecting to conduct cargo operations during Condition YANKEE shall submit a Cargo Operations Plan to terminal owners for approval. All ship-to-shore operations must be completed six hours prior to the setting of Port Condition ZULU.

* Container stacking plans should be implemented. Waterfront facilities that, due to space constraints, are unable to reduce container stacking height to no more than four high, must submit a container stacking protocol to the COTP for approval.
* Drawbridges may be locked down as early as eight hours prior to the anticipated arrival of sustained gale force winds.
* Private boat owners are strongly encouraged to secure their vessel and gear.

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