PHILADELPHIA — The Captain of the Port (COTP), Delaware Bay, has set a modified Port Condition X-Ray due to the potential for Hurricane Isaias to impact Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware area in the next 48 hours. A thorough explanation of port conditions can be found under the local contingency plans tab on homeport at: https://homeport.uscg.mil/port-directory/delaware-bay.
The COTP has determined the Delaware shore, Delaware Bay, and New Jersey shore areas will likely experience heavy rains, gale force winds, increased seas, and surf. Members of the port community should take adequate precautions and review the Severe Weather Contingency Plan. In preparation for high winds, the following provisions of Port Condition X-Ray are implemented and should be completed:
• Vessels must have effective mooring and anchorage arrangements for anticipated high wind; vessel agents are asked to notify vessel masters of this requirement.
• Facilities must minimize debris that could become missile hazards.
• Lightering, bunkering, and cargo operations must cease when sustained winds exceed 40 mph.
• Vessels and facilities within potentially affected areas should conduct a pre-storm self-assessment and report any potential hazards or concerns to the Sector Delaware Bay Command Center at (215) 271-4807.
Facilities and vessels south of the C&D Canal must complete the appropriate checklists and forms. These checklists and forms are attached to this MSIB and should be submitted within 24 hours to SecDelBayMTSRU@uscg.mil.
In the event that the COTP imposes further restrictions, they will be broadcasted on VHF-FM Channel 16. Additionally, all notifications will be forwarded to the Maritime Exchange and will be available as requested. The U.S. Coast Guard will provide the earliest possible advance notification before changing the port condition. Please refer to Homeport for additional information.
The Coast Guard encourages the public to:
- 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.
- Evacuate as necessary. If mandatory evacuations are set for an area, the public should evacuate without delay. Coast Guard personnel and other emergency responders may not be able to evacuate or rescue those in danger during the storm.
- 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 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. The public should monitor the progress and strength of the storm through local television, radio and the Internet. Information can also be obtained on small craft advisories and warnings on VHF radio channel 16.
Vessel and facility operators are encouraged to visit the Mariner Decision Support Tool for forecasts and current information. The decision support tool is located at www.weather.gov/phi/dss_port.
Questions regarding the contents of this bulletin or expectations of the Captain of the Port can be directed to the Sector Delaware Bay 24 hour Command Center at (215) 271-4807.