Coast Guard urges mariners to monitor weather conditions, stay in port

BALTIMORE – The Coast Guard is urging mariners to heed warnings as the passing Nor’easter produces gale and storm force winds that are expected to affect the Mid-Atlantic region between North Carolina and New Jersey through Friday.

The weather system is forecasted to bring winds gusting to 40 knots with up to 15-foot seas ocean side and up to 8-foot seas in the Chesapeake Bay.

Coast Guard cutters and boat stations throughout most of the district have been placed on standby. Units remain operational, with limitations, and continue to monitor hailing and distress radio frequencies.

The Coast Guard has set port conditions for the following ports:

  • Port of Baltimore – Yankee – port status is restricted
  • Port of Hampton Roads – Zulu – port status is closed
  • Port of Morehead City, N.C., and Wilmington, N.C. – Normal – port status is not restricted
  • Port of Delaware Bay – Normal – port status is not restricted

YANKEE – Set when sustained gale force winds from a hurricane force storm are predicted within 24 hours. The port will be restricted with vessel and facility control measures in effect.

ZULU – Set when sustained gale force winds from a hurricane force storm are predicted within 12 hours. The port is closed to all vessel traffic and waterside operations.

As these port conditions change, the Coast Guard urges people to be mindful of the following safety tips:

  • Stay informed: The public should monitor the weather conditions through local television, radio and Internet. Information on small craft advisories and warnings can also be obtained via VHF channel 16.
  • Evacuate as necessary: If mandatory evacuations are set for an area, the public is urged to heed evacuation orders. Coast Guard personnel and other emergency responders may not be able to respond immediately to those in danger during the storm.
  • Secure your belongings: Owners of larger boats are urged to move their boats to inland marinas where they will be less vulnerable to breaking free of their moorings or damage. Trailerable 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 secure life rings and life jackets.
  • Be cautious of hazardous materials: If you have hazardous materials on or near the water, you are responsible for any spills that may occur. Take the necessary precautions to secure them prior to any foul weather.
  • Stay clear of beaches: Even the best swimmers can fall victim to the strong waves and rip currents. Swimmers are urged to stay clear of beaches until local officials say the water is safe.

For more information regarding port information in your area, use the following contact information:

Hampton Roads – 757-668-5555

Baltimore – 410-576-2541

North Carolina – 252-247-4570

Delaware Bay – 757-434-6043

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