Coast Guard sets Port Condition X-RAY for Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands

National Hurricane Center graphic

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The Coast Guard set Port Condition X-RAY at 2p.m. Wednesday for all maritime ports in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgins Islands, due to tropical wave Invest 98L possibly arriving to the islands within 48 hours.

The Coast Guard strongly cautions the maritime community to remain vigilant to weather forecasts for Invest 98L, and to take the necessary precautions as this weather system has the possibility to strengthen and develop into a tropical storm as it approaches the area.

During Port Condition X-RAY, port facilities are currently open to all commercial traffic and all transfer operations may continue, while regulated facilities are required to submit a Facility Readiness Survey prior to the setting of Port Condition Yankee.

Vessels desiring to remain in port must immediately contact the COTP to receive permission and are required to submit a safe mooring plan in writing. Vessels bound for the U.S. Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico unable to depart 24 hours prior to threatening winds making landfall are advised to seek an alternate destination.

Mariners are reminded there are no safe havens in these facilities, and ports are safest when the inventory of vessels is at a minimum.

Pleasure craft owners are advised to seek safe harbor. Maritime and port facilities are reminded to review and update their heavy weather response plans and make any additional preparations needed to adequately prepare in case of a potential impact to the area. Mariners can view the latest port updates on the Coast Guard’s Homeport site.

At this time, Coast Guard Captain of the Port San Juan anticipates setting port condition YANKEE at 4 p.m. Thursday for the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. These dates and times are subject to change based on future forecast.

If and when port condition Yankee is set, meaning sustained gale force winds are expected within 24 hours, the port is closed to all inbound commercial vessel traffic unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port. Vessels without approved applications to remain in port shall depart at this time.

The Coast Guard advises 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 taken out of the water, and stored in a place not prone to flooding. Those leaving their boats in the water should remove their EPIRBs and 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 storms. 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 with a family plan, a disaster supply kit, by having a place to go, securing their home and having a plan for pets. Information can be found at the National Hurricane Center’s webpage:

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.

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