WILMINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) The Coast Guard has set Port Condition Zulu for the ports of Morehead City and Wilmington just after 2:30 p.m., Wednesday.
Port Condition Zulu is a dangerous condition in which gale-force winds are possible within 12 hours.
In Port Condition Zulu, the port is closed and all port operations are suspended.
The Coast Guard strongly cautions the maritime community to remain vigilant and take the necessary precautions as Dorian approaches.
Pleasure craft are advised to seek safe harbor.
Maritime and port facilities are reminded to review and update their heavy weather response plans and make any additional preparations needed to adequately prepare in case of a potential impact on the area.
WILMINGTON, N.C. — The Captain of the Port for North Carolina set Port Condition Yankee for the Ports of Wilmington and Morehead City at 4 a.m., Wednesday.
Port Condition Yankee closes the identified ports to inbound traffic without permission from the Captain of the Port.
All affected vessels are encouraged to seek an alternative destination.
Owners of pleasure craft are advised to seek safe harbor.
Drawbridges may not be operating if sustained winds reach 34 mph or when an evacuation is in progress.
Mariners can view the latest port updates on the Coast Guard’s Homeport Site.
The Coast Guard is warning the public of these important safety messages:
Stay off the water. The Coast Guard’s search and rescue capabilities degrade as storm conditions strengthen. This means help could be delayed. Boaters should heed weather watches, warnings, and small craft advisories.
Be prepared. Owners of large boats are urged to move their vessels to inland marinas where they will be less vulnerable to breaking free of their moorings or to sustaining 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 remove EPIRBs and to secure life rings, life jackets, and small boats. These items, if not properly secured, can break free and require valuable search and rescue resources be diverted to ensure people are not in distress.
Stay informed. The public should monitor the progress and strength of the storm through local television, radio, and the Internet. Boaters can monitor its progress on VHF radio channel 16. Information can also be obtained on small craft advisories and warnings on VHF radio channel 16.
MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (WNCT) On Tuesday, the U.S. Coast Guard set Port Condition X-Ray for the Ports of Morehead City and Wilmington and explained how boaters should prepare if they plan to remain in the port during Hurricane Dorian.
In Marine Safety Information Bulletin 014-19, issued Wednesday, the Coast Guard said it expects Gale Force winds (34 knots or 39 mph) to reach Frying Pan Shoals Lighted Buoy 16 (LLNR 835) within 48 hours of the time of this post (Tuesday).
Coast Guard officials said all pleasure craft in or near the port should seek safe harbor.
To enter, transit, or remain within the Port Zone in Morehead City or Wilmington, vessels must comply with the following requirements:
1. All self-propelled oceangoing vessels over 500GT, all oceangoing barges and their supporting tugs, and all tank barges over 200GT desiring to remain in the Ports of Morehead City and Wilmington must immediately submit in writing to the COTP an application to remain in port for approval.
2. All self-propelled oceangoing vessels over 500GT, all oceangoing barges and their supporting tugs, and all tank barges over 200GT departing the Ports of Morehead City and Wilmington must depart not later than 24 hours prior to the arrival of gale force winds at Frying Pan Shoals Lighted Buoy 16 (LLNR 835).
3. Vessels bound for the Ports of Morehead City and Wilmington that are unable to depart 24 hours prior to the arrival of gale force winds at Frying Pan Shoals Lighted Buoy 16 (LLNR 835) are advised to seek an alternative destination.
4. Facility Operators should begin making preparations to ensure all loose cargo, cargo equipment, and debris is secured safely. Notification should be made to the COTP of any heavy weather preparation problems that cannot be mitigated within 24 hours.
Mariners are also advised that drawbridges will remain closed when wind speeds exceed 34 knots or once evacuations begin. As a result, mariners are urged to seek passage through drawbridges well in advance of the arrival of gale force winds because of the uncertainty of weather movements and related bridge closures.
For guidance on specific issues or to obtain a vessel application to remain in port, contact the Sector North Carolina Command Center at the number listed above. A vessel remaining in port checklist may be obtained online at https://homeport.uscg.mil/port-directory/north-carolina. The checklist is located under the “Local Contingency Plans” header within the “port Stakeholder Severe Weather Plan”.