PHILADELPHIA — The Captain of the Port for Philadelphia set port condition Zulu for all commercial waterways effective 4 p.m. Saturday in preparation for Hurricane Irene.
Gale force winds are expected within 12 hours.
1. All cargo and bunker handling operations must cease at this time.
2. A safety zone has been established, prohibiting vessel movement and activities unless specifically authorized by the COTP.
3. All commercial vessel and barge operators who have received permission from the Captain of the Port to remain in port must be at their mooring site in accordance with their plan.
Mariners are also advised that drawbridges will remain closed when wind speeds are 34 knots or greater or once evacuations begin. Because of the uncertainty of weather movements and related bridge closures, mariners are urged to seek passage through drawbridges well in advance of the arrival of gale force winds.
All Coast Guard small boat stations have secured operations in anticipation of the hurricane. As a result, they will have minimal search and rescue capabilities until the storm passes out of the area. The Coast Guard once again urges boaters to stay off the water and off the beaches.
For guidance on specific issues or to obtain vessel applications to remain in port, contact Sector Delaware Bay at 215-271-4807.
Visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s website at http://www.ready.gov/ to stay informed and for tips on how to prepare and plan for severe weather.