Effective Monday, October 8 2018, the Coast Guard Captain of the Port set port condition Whiskey for the Ports of Wilmington and Morehead City due to predicted sustained tropical storm force winds of 39 mph generated by Hurricane Michael that may arrive within 72 hours.
Ports are currently open to all commercial traffic and all transfer operations may continue while Whiskey remains in effect.
All ocean-going commercial vessels and ocean-going barges greater than 500 gross tons should make plans for departing North Carolina Ports. Vessels desiring to remain in port must immediately contact the COTP to receive permission and are required to submit a safe mooring plan in writing.
Owners of pleasure craft are advised to seek safe harbor. Drawbridges may not be operating if sustained winds reach 25 mph or when an evacuation is in progress.
If port condition Yankee is set, meaning sustained tropical storm force winds are expected within 24 hours, vessel movement may be restricted, and all movements must be approved by the COTP. 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.
Sea News, October 9