SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, July 8, 2018 (CMC) – The United States Coast Guard has set port conditions for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands (USVI), even as Tropical Storm, Beryl, continues to weaken, while on its path to the Eastern Caribbean.
Yesterday, Captain of Port San Juan, Eric P. King, set Port Condition X-RAY for the islands, “due to the possibility of sustained gale force winds, greater than 39 mph, from Tropical Storm, Beryl, that may arrive, within 48 hours.
“The Coast Guard strongly cautions the maritime community to remain vigilant and take the necessary precautions, as Beryl continues to approach the Lesser Antilles……”
During Port Condition X-RAY, “port facilities are open to all commercial traffic and all transfer operations may continue, while X-RAY remains in effect.
“Mariners are reminded there are no safe havens in these facilities, and ports are safest when the inventory of vessels is at a minimum,” the statement said. “All ocean-going commercial vessels, greater than 500 gross tons, should make plans for departing the port.”
The Coast Guard said vessels, desiring to remain in port, must file their application with the Coast Guard captain of the port and submit a safe mooring plan, in writing, for approval.
“Vessels bound for the US Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico, unable to depart 24 hours prior to threatening winds making landfall, are advised to seek an alternate destination,” the Coast Guard said.
“Pleasure craft are advised to seek safe harbor,” it added. “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.”
King also anticipates setting Port Condition YANKEE for the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
He said if and when Port Condition Yankee is set, meaning sustained gale force winds are expected within 24 hours, “vessel movement shall be restricted, and all movements must be approved by the captain of the port.”
King urged owners of large boats 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,” he said.
The US Coast Guard are also urging residents to stay clear of beaches, stating that “even the best swimmers can fall victim to the strong waves and rip currents, caused by hurricanes”.
In addition, the Coast Guards urged area residents to, among other things, develop a family plan, create a disaster supply kit, have a place to go, secure their home and have a plan for pets.