Coast Guard sets port condition Yankee for eastern shore

Mid Atlantic Coast Guard NewsPORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard captain of the port has set Port Condition Yankee for the coastal waters of the eastern shore of Maryland and Virginia Saturday due to the approach of Hurricane Sandy.

All remaining ports in the Hampton Roads remain at Port Condition X-Ray.

Condition Yankee means that gale force winds are possible within 24 hours at the Virginia Capes.

No vessel may enter ports along the eastern shore without the permission of the captain of the port.

Facility operators and agents should contact Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads at 757-638-6641 to request permission for vessels to enter the port.

It is primarily the facility operator’s decision to allow vessels to remain moored during the passing of the hurricane.  Facilities that do not allow vessels to remain moored must provide them with sufficient notice to allow the vessels time to move to a safe mooring, hurricane anchorage or to depart to sea.

Facilities and vessels should communicate with each other regarding vessels’ plans.  Facility operators should continue making preparations to ensure all loose cargo, cargo equipment and debris are safely secured.  All vessel moorings should be reinforced.

Anchored vessels should prepare for severe winds.  Additional anchors should be made ready to let go, and preparations should be made to have a continuous anchor watch.  Also, vessels shall monitor VHF-FM channel 16.

The Coast Guard urges the public to listen to weather information available from other sources and not call the Coast Guard for weather information.  For additional information on the storm, visit the National Hurricane Center site at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/.  Boaters can monitor its progress on NOAA weather radio.

Information can also be obtained on small craft advisories and warnings on VHF-FM channel 22A.

Mariners can view the latest port updates for Hampton Roads on the Coast Guard’s Homeport site.  Call 757-668-5555, option 3, to reach the port condition hotline for a recorded message of current hurricane conditions.

The Port of Hampton Roads Maritime Heavy Weather Contingency Plan explains all port conditions and is available at http://homeport.uscg.mil/mycg/portal/ep/portDirectory.do?tabId=1&cotpId=26.

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.

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