Coast Guard to set Port Condition ZULU in the U.S. Virgin Islands

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The Coast Guard Captain of the Port San Juan anticipates setting Port Condition Zulu at 8 p.m. Monday in the U.S. Virgins Islands due to the possibility of gale force winds from Tropical Storm Karen arriving to the area within 12 hours.

Ports in Puerto Rico will remain in Port Condition X-Ray until further notice.

During Port Condition ZULU the port is closed to all vessel traffic with the exception of vessel traffic specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port.

Ports in Port Condition X-RAY will remain open to all commercial traffic and all cargo transfer operations at Coast Guard regulated facilities may continue while X-RAY remains in effect.

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 for Sector San Juan.

The Coast Guard advises public and recreational boaters of safety messages:

Recreational boaters should seek safe harbor. 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 an area not prone to flooding. Those who are leaving their boats in the water should remove 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 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 and have 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. For the latest forecast advisories for Tropical Storm Karen visit the National Hurricane Center website.

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