Coast Guard sets Port Condition X-Ray for Wilmington, NC

WILMINGTON, N.C. — The Captain of the Port (COTP) North Carolina has set Port Condition X-Ray for the Port of Wilmington in preparation for the anticipated weather impact of Hurricane Maria.

Gale Force winds (34 knots/39 mph) are expected to reach Frying Pan Shoals Lighted Buoy 16 (LLNR 835) within 48 hours. Pleasure craft are advised to seek safe harbor.

To enter, transit, or remain within this Captain of the Port Zone, vessels must comply with the following requirements:

1. All self-propelled oceangoing vessels over 500 gross tons, all oceangoing barges and their supporting tugs, and all tank barges over 200 gross tons desiring to remain in the Port of Wilmington must immediately submit in writing to the COTP an application to remain in port for approval.

2. All self-propelled oceangoing vessels over 500 gross tons, all oceangoing barges and their supporting tugs, and all tank barges over 200 gross tons departing the Port of Morehead City must depart no later than 24 hours prior to the arrival of gale force winds at Frying Pan Shoals Lighted Buoy 16 (LLNR 835).

3. Vessels bound for the Port of Wilmington that are unable to depart 24 hours prior to the arrival of gale force winds at Frying Pan Shoals Lighted Buoy 16 (LLNR 835) 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 exceed 34 knots or once evacuations begin. As a result, mariners are urged to seek passage through drawbridges well in advance of the arrival of gale force winds because of the uncertainty of weather movements and related bridge closures.

For guidance on specific issues or to obtain a vessel application to remain in port, contact the Sector North Carolina Command Center at the number listed above. A vessel remaining in port checklist may be obtained via the Internet at http://homeport.uscg.mil. Once on homeport, select North Carolina in the Port Directory. The checklist is located under the “Local Contingency Plans” header.

The Coast Guard is warning the public of these important safety messages:

  • Secure belongings: Owners of large boats are urged to move their vessels to inland marinas where they will be less vulnerable to breaking free of their moorings or to 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 remove EPIRBs and to secure life rings, lifejackets and small boats. These items, if not properly secured, can break free and require valuable search and rescue resources be diverted to ensure people are not 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 hurricanes. Swimmers should stay clear of beaches until local lifeguards and law enforcement officials say the water is safe.
  • Be prepared: Area residents should be 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.
  • Stay informed: The public should monitor the progress and strength of the storm 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.

Information on how to prepare your boat or trailer for a hurricane can be found at the Coast Guard Storm Center webpage.

For information on the progress of Hurricane Maria and hurricane preparedness, please visit the National Hurricane Center‘s webpage.

For imagery and video of the Hurricane Maria response, please visit our Flicker page.

This graphic shows an approximate representation of coastal areas under a hurricane warning (red), hurricane watch (pink), tropical storm warning (blue) and tropical storm watch (yellow). The orange circle indicates the current position of the center of the tropical cyclone. The black line, when selected, and dots show the National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecast track of the center at the times indicated. The dot indicating the forecast center location will be black if the cyclone is forecast to be tropical The letter inside the dot indicates the NHC's forecast intensity for that time.

This graphic shows an approximate representation of coastal areas under a hurricane warning (red), hurricane watch (pink), tropical storm warning (blue) and tropical storm watch (yellow). The orange circle indicates the current position of the center of the tropical cyclone. The black line, when selected, and dots show the National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecast track of the center at the times indicated. The dot indicating the forecast center location will be black if the cyclone is forecast to be tropical The letter inside the dot indicates the NHC’s forecast intensity for that time.

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