WILMINGTON, N.C. — The Coast Guard urges mariners and members of the maritime community across North Carolina to prepare for Hurricane Matthew as Condition X-Ray is set for North Carolina Waterways.
The Captain of the Port (COTP) has set condition X-RAY for all waterways in the North Carolina COTP Zone in preparation for the anticipated weather impact of Hurricane Matthew. Port Condition WHISKEY remains in effect for the port of Morehead City.
Gale force winds (39 mph) and above are predicted along the coast of North Carolina within 48 hours. Pleasure craft are advised to seek shelter. 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 immediately submit in writing 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 12 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.
Pleasure craft owners are advised to seek safe harbor. Owners of larger boats are urged to move their boats to inland marinas where they are less vulnerable to breaking free of their moorings or sustaining damage. Trailerable boats should be pulled from the water and stored in a place not prone to flooding.
Those who are leaving their boats in the water are reminded to secure the life rings, emergency beacons, life jackets and small boats. If not secured properly, these items can break free and divert valuable search and rescue resources, which could preclude them from assisting people who may be in actual distress.
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 Coast Guard 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.