WILMINGTON, N.C. — The Coast Guard urges mariners and members of the maritime community across North Carolina to prepare for Hurricane Matthew as Condition Whiskey is set for North Carolina Waterways.
The Captain of the Port (COTP) has set condition WHISKEY for all waterways in the North Carolina COTP Zone in preparation for the anticipated weather impact of Hurricane Matthew. Gale force winds (39 mph) and above are predicted along the coast of North Carolina within 72. Pleasure craft are advised to seek shelter. During this port condition all maritime operations including waterfront facility and vessel transits may occur until further notice and are subject to prudent seamanship and safe working practices. To enter, transit or remain within the Captain of the Port Zone, vessels must comply with the following requirements:
1. All self-propelled oceangoing vessels over 500GT, all oceangoing barges and their supporting tugs, and all tank barges over 200GT desiring to remain in port must arrange safe mooring and shall complete and submit in writing within 24 hours to the Captain of the Port an application to remain in port for approval.
2. All self-propelled oceangoing vessels over 500GT, all oceangoing barges and their supporting tugs, and all tank barges over 200GT departing the port must depart no later than 24 hours prior to the arrival of gale force winds at Frying Pan Shoals NOAA Lighted Buoy 16 (LLNR 815).
3. Vessels bound for these ports that are unable to depart 24 hours prior to the arrival of gale force winds at Frying Pan Shoals NOAA Lighted Buoy 16 (LLNR 815) are advised to seek an alternative destination.
4. Facility Operators should begin making preparations to ensure all loose cargo, cargo equipment, and debris is secured safely. Notification should be made to the COTP of any heavy weather preparation problems that cannot be mitigated within 24 hours.
Mariners are also advised that drawbridges will remain closed when wind speeds are 39 mph 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.
The Captain of the Port will change port condition when the hurricane condition winds are 48 hours out.
The Captain of the Port in each area in the projected path of Hurricane Matthew is working closely with maritime industry to ensure that the port is ready for the hurricane’s arrival. For guidance on specific issues or to obtain a vessel application to remain in port, contact the Sector North Carolina Command Center at the following number: (910)-772-3880.
A vessel remaining in port checklist may be obtained via the internet at http://ift.tt/1fT80Zd. Once on homeport, select North Carolina in the Port Directory. The checklist is located under the “Local Contingency Plans,” header.
Visit www.nhc.noaa.gov for more information on Hurricane Matthew and its projected path.