Coast Guard urges safety, proper planning in anticipation of Nor’easter

Northeast Atlantic Coast Guard NewsNEW YORK — Due to the impending hazardous weather with anticipated high winds and coastal flooding on November 7, 2012, the maritime community should exercise caution and make immediate preparations to ensure all waterside and shore side vessels and other components are secured.  This advisory includes recreational vessel owners, marina owners, and commercial mariners.

The Captain of The Port or Vessel Traffic Service Director may, as warranted, impose additional vessel movement restrictions not specifically listed below.  VTS New York may enact these practices based on actual or predicted conditions. Standard Severe Weather Practices for the Captain of the Port New York are outlined below.  The Sector New York Maritime Heavy Weather and Hurricane plan can be found at: >Safety and Security > Local Contingency Plans > Hurricane and Severe Weather Plan

  • Pleasure crafts are advised to seek safe harbor if weather conditions begin to deteriorate.
  • Mariners are strongly advised to closely monitor NOAA weather and local radio broadcasts for updated warnings of this storm.

Winds sustained at 15 kts or gusting to 20 kts from the North or Northwest while on an ebb current:

  • All barges in the Bay Ridge anchorage shall have tugs alongside.

Winds sustained at 25 kts regardless of the wind or current direction:

  • All barges or ships anchored in a “dead ship status” in any anchorage not attached to permanent mooring (i.e., Robbins Reef mooring ball) shall have tugs alongside.
  • All barges alongside anchored ships shall have tugs alongside.
  • All ships and tugs in an anchorage shall have their engines online.
  • All ships engaged in bunkering or lightering operations may have no more than one barge alongside.

Gale Conditions: Winds sustained at 34 kts regardless of the wind or current direction:

  • All ships at anchor in Bayridge, Gravesend, Perth Amboy, or Anchorage 19 shall have a Pilot aboard.
  • All lightering and bunkering operations shall be suspended with all barges removed from anchored vessels.
  • Based on their ship’s particular characteristics and loading conditions, masters of ships at anchor should consider ordering tugs to assist their vessels in maintaining position in the anchorage.
  • Vessels not certificated for operation above a gale or only certificated for river use shall cease operation.

Winds sustained at 40 kts regardless of the wind or current direction:

  • The transfer of hazardous cargo between vessels or barges and waterfront facilities shall be suspended.
  • All ships in Stapleton Anchorage shall either have a pilot aboard or arrange with the Sandy Hook Pilots to have a pilot on call ready to respond at the Staten Island pilot station.  All ships in other anchorages inside the port shall have a pilot aboard.
  • Barges may be ordered out of specific anchorages by the COTP/VTS Director.  Tug/barge combinations may go to a berth or transit to an area, such as north of the George Washington Bridge, and anchor/ride out the storm.  Tug/barge combinations will not be ordered out of the Port of New York and New Jersey.
  • Depending on actual harbor conditions, the COTP/VTS Director may impose restrictions on vessel movements into, out of, or within specific areas of the Upper and Lower Bay.
  • Unattended barges attached to mooring ball shall have at least one tug standing by in the immediate vicinity.

Winds sustained at 60 kts regardless of the wind or current direction:

  • The COTP/VTS Director may impose a complete harbor closure affecting all commercial operations.  Light tugs assisting other vessels/barges and emergency vessels will normally be the only vessels allowed to operate during these conditions.

Line of severe thunderstorms or squall line approaching the area with expected winds greater than 25 kts:

  • The COTP/VTS Director may impose any of the restrictions outlines above as early as necessary to ensure safety measures are in place prior to the onset of the severe weather.

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