WILMINGTON, N.C. — The Captain of the Port (COTP) North Carolina has set Port Condition X-Ray for the Port of Wilmington in preparation for the anticipated weather impact of Hurricane Maria.
Gale Force winds (34 knots/39 mph) are expected to reach Frying Pan Shoals Lighted Buoy 16 (LLNR 835) within 48 hours. Pleasure craft are advised to seek safe harbor.
To enter, transit, or remain within this Captain of the Port Zone, vessels must comply with the following requirements:
1. All self-propelled oceangoing vessels over 500 gross tons, all oceangoing barges and their supporting tugs, and all tank barges over 200 gross tons desiring to remain in the Port of Wilmington must immediately submit in writing to the COTP an application to remain in port for approval.
2. All self-propelled oceangoing vessels over 500 gross tons, all oceangoing barges and their supporting tugs, and all tank barges over 200 gross tons departing the Port of Morehead City must depart no 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 Port of 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 via the Internet at http://homeport.uscg.mil. Once on homeport, select North Carolina in the Port Directory. The checklist is located under the “Local Contingency Plans” header.
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