Port Condition Zulu set for most of New England

Northeast Atlantic Coast Guard NewsBOSTON — The Captain of the Ports along New England have set and are preparing to set Port Condition ZULU to close all waterways in preparation for Hurricane Sandy, Monday.

Port Condition ZULU means that gale force winds are expected to impact the area within 12 hours.

  • The Ports in Southeastern New England, including ports in Narragansett Bay, Mount Hope Bay, Cape Cod Bay, Buzzards Bay, Vineyard Bay and Nantucket Sound were set to Zulu Sunday at 4 p.m.
  • The Ports of Portsmouth, N.H., and Portland, Maine, were set to Zulu at 5 p.m. Monday.
  • The Port of Boston is scheduled to set Port Condition Zulu this evening.

The COTP orders that:

1. All cargo and bunker handling operations must cease at this time.

2. A safety zone has been established, prohibiting vessel movement and activities unless specifically authorized by the COTP.

3. All commercial vessel and barge operators who have received permission from the COTP to remain in port must be at their mooring site in accordance with their plan.

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.

All Coast Guard small boat stations have secured operations in anticipation of the hurricane.  As a result, they will have minimal search and rescue capabilities until the storm passes out of the area. The Coast Guard once again urges boaters to stay off the water and off the beaches.

Numerous vessels have broken free of moorings and have been reported and seen on television broadcasts adrift. The Coast Guard is requesting any boat owner that knows if their boat is adrift, or sees their boat adrift to contact the Coast Guard.

“The Coast Guard investigates and responds to all reports that somebody may be in distress on the water,” said Lt. Daniel Grossman, Coast Guard Sector Boston. “During a hurricane, when the weather poses an especially high risk to the public as well as our own responders, it is especially important that we get as much information as quickly as possible.”

“If you own a boat that has broken loose, please tell the Coast Guard right away so we can account for it and confirm you are safe. If you see a boat adrift, please tell us immediately as someone may need to be rescued,” Grossman continued.

For more information on Sandy, visit the National Hurricane Center Web site.

Visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s site to stay informed and for tips to prepare and plan.

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