Port condition Yankee set for Port of Philadelphia

5th Coast Guard District News

PHILADELPHIA — The Coast Guard Captain of the Port set port condition Yankee at 10 a.m. Saturday for the Port of Philadelphia due to the approach of Hurricane Irene.

This condition means that gale force winds are possible within 24 hours.

No vessel may enter the Port of Philadelphia without the permission of the COTP.  Facility operators and agents should contact Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay at 215-271-4807 to request permission for vessels to enter the port.

It is primarily the facility operator’s decision to allow vessels to remain moored during the passing of the hurricane.  Facilities that do not allow vessels to remain moored must provide them with sufficient notice to allow the vessels time to move to a safe mooring, hurricane anchorage or to depart to sea.

Facilities and vessels should communicate with each other regarding vessels’ plans.  Facility operators should continue making preparations to ensure all loose cargo, cargo equipment and debris are safely secured.  All vessel moorings should be reinforced.

Anchored vessels should prepare for severe winds.  Additional anchors should be made ready to let go, and preparations should be made to have a continuous anchor watch.  Also, vessels shall maintain a continuous listening watch on VHF-FM channel 16.

As the storm approaches, the Coast Guard urges people to remember to stay off the water and clear of beaches for safety reasons.  The Coast Guard will be moving their assets out of harm’s way in order to be able to respond once the storm passes. As a result, they will have minimal search and rescue capabilities until the storm passes out of the area.

The Coast Guard is asking that the public listen to weather information available from other sources and not call the Coast Guard for weather information.  For additional information on the storm, visit the National Hurricane Center Web site at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/.  Boaters can monitor its progress on NOAA weather radio.

Information can also be obtained on small craft advisories and warnings on VHF-FM radio, and mariners can view the latest port updates on the Coast Guard’s Homeport site.

Visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s website at http://www.ready.gov/ to stay informed and for tips on how to prepare and plan for severe weather.

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