Port condition Yankee set for North Carolina

FORT MACON, N.C. — The Captain of the Port Sector North Carolina and Captain of the Port Cape Fear River have set port condition Yankee for all commercial waterways in North Carolina, effective 4 p.m. in preparation for the anticipated weather impact of Hurricane Earl.

This port condition is a change from the previous condition of X-Ray.

Port Condition Zulu is anticipated to be set at or around 6 a.m. Sept. 2.

Gale Force winds 34 knots or 39 mph are expected to reach Frying Pan Shoals Lighted Buoy 16 light list number 835 within 24 hours.

A safety zone for all the inland waters, coastal inlets and territorial seas from Little River Inlet to the North Carolina – Virginia border has been established. The ports of Wilmington and Morehead City are closed to all inbound traffic. No vessel may enter this safety zone without the permission of the Captain of the Port. All cargo and bunker handling operations shall cease upon the setting of port condition Zulu.

1. Commercial vessels and barges over 500 gross tons and all tank barges over 200 gross tons departing the port must clear the Cape Fear River Entrance Lighted Whistle Buoy “CF” light list number 30316 or Beaufort Inlet Channel Lighted Whistle Buoy “BM” light list number 29328 upon the setting of port condition Zulu.

2. All commercial vessels and barges who have received permission from the Captain of the Port to remain in port must be at their site in accordance with their application upon the setting of Port Condition Zulu.

3. Vessels bound for these ports shall seek an alternative destination.

Mariners are also advised that drawbridges will remain closed when wind speeds are 34 knots or greater or once evacuations begin. Because of the uncertainty of weather movements and related bridge closures, mariners are urged to seek passage through drawbridges well in advance of the arrival of gale force winds.

The Coast Guard urges boaters to stay off the water. The Coast Guard’s search and rescue capabilities are degraded as storm conditions strengthen. This means that aid from the Coast Guard could be delayed. Boaters are urged to heed the weather watches, warnings and small craft advisories. People should not go out on their boats at this time and should wait at least 72-96 hours after a hurricane has passed through an area.

For guidance on specific issues contact Sector North Carolina at 252-240-8145. For other issues or to obtain vessel applications to remain in port contact Sector North Carolina at 252-247-4570 or Marine Safety Unit Wilmington at 910-512-5830.

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