LNM: Port Condition Zulu Set for North Florida Gulf Coast Ports
YANKEETOWN, Fla. — The Coast Guard set port condition Zulu for northern Florida Gulf Coast ports, Tuesday, and continues to prepare for impacts of Hurricane Michael.
All commercial port operations from Cedar Key to Tarpon Springs are suspended.
Port Condition Zulu is set when gale-force winds are possible within 12 hours. All commercial and recreational vessel operators are urged 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 to the area.
“Coast Guard Station Yankeetown crew members and all of our crews along Florida’s Gulf Coast are preparing early for the hurricane,” said Cmdr. William Walsh, the Sector St. Petersburg deputy commander. “Use this time before the storm to save your property, but more importantly your life.”
Mariners all along Florida’s Gulf Coast are urged to heed all local weather watches, warnings and advisories, and use these tips to stay safe:
Stay off the water. The Coast Guard’s search and rescue capabilities degrade as storm conditions strengthen. This means help could be delayed.
Evacuate as necessary. Coast Guard personnel and other emergency responders may not be able to evacuate or rescue those in danger during the storm. If mandatory evacuations are set for an area, the public should evacuate without delay.
Secure belongings. 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. Trailer-able 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, lifejackets 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 clear of beaches. Wave heights and currents typically increase before a storm makes landfall. Even the best swimmers can fall victim to the strong waves and rip currents caused by hurricanes. Swimmers should stay clear of beaches until local lifeguards and law enforcement officials say the water is safe.
Stay informed. Monitor your local television, radio and internet sources for storm progress. Storms move quickly and are unpredictable. Boaters can monitor Hurricane Michael’s progress on VHF radio channel 16 including small craft advisories and hazards.
Don’t rely on social media. People in distress should use 911 to request assistance whenever possible. Social media should not be used to report life-threatening distress due to limited resources to monitor the dozens of social media platforms during a hurricane or large-scale rescue event.
For information on Hurricane Michael and hurricane preparedness, please visit the National Hurricane Center’s website.
Visit the Coast Guard’s Homeport site for port condition updates.
For more breaking news follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
HURRICANE SEASON PORT CONDITIONS AND CATEGORIES Port Conditions are set by the COTP and are used to alert the maritime community to changes in port operations needed to prepare for the hurricane’s arrival. Approximate Time Port Condition Jun 1 – Nov 30 Seasonal Alert 72 Hrs Whiskey 48 Hrs X-Ray 24 Hrs Yankee 12 Hrs Zulu After Landfall Recovery
PORT CONDITION WHISKEY: Gale force winds (34 knots or 39 mph) are predicted to arrive within 72 hours. Ports Status: Open to all commercial and recreational traffic.
PORT CONDITION X-RAY: Gale force winds are predicted to arrive within 48 hours. Port Status: Open to all commercial and recreational traffic.
PORT CONDITION YANKEE: Gale force winds are predicted to arrive within 24 hours. Ports status: Closed to inbound traffic and vessel traffic control measures in effect on vessel movements within the port.
PORT CONDITION ZULU: Gale force winds are predicted to arrive within 12 hours. Ports Status: Closed to all inbound and outbound traffic.
PORT CONDITION RECOVERY: The storm is no longer a threat to the area, however, some damage may have occurred and response and recovery operations are in progress. Ports status: Reopened to outbound traffic at the completion of the port survey. Vessel traffic control measures remain in effect on vessel movements within the port.