Coast Guard Sets Port Condition X-Ray Ahead of Tropical Storm Dorian


Tropical Storm Dorian continued to advance towards the Caribbean Monday with increased sustained winds of 60 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center reported, as the U.S. Coast Guard began preparing the ports of the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico for the storm.

SAN JUAN – Effective 11 p.m. Tuesday, the Coast Guard captain of the port (COTP) will set Port Condition YANKEE for all ports and regulated facilities in Arecibo, Guánica, Guayama, Guayanilla, Mayagüez, Ponce, Salinas and Tallaboa, Puerto Rico due to Tropical Storm Dorian’s approach to the area, the U.S. Coast Guard said in a release.

All other ports in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico remain in Port Condition X-Ray.  Under Port Condition X-Ray, port operations and maritime traffic may continue until further notice. During Port Condition YANKEE, sustained winds between 39 and 54 mph are possible within 24 hours.

“All ocean-going commercial vessels and ocean-going barges greater than 500 gross tons should leave the port once Port Condition YANKEE is in effect, unless authorization has been given from the COTP to remain in port,” the Coast Guard said.

Satellite photo at 5 a.m. shows the outer arms of Tropical Storm Dorian, lower right, brushing up against Barbados. (NOAA photo)

“If and when Port Condition ZULU is set in any given port, meaning sustained gale force winds are expected within 12 hours, the port will be closed to all commercial inbound and outbound vessel traffic until the storm has cleared the area and Coast Guard completes the necessary port assessments,” the military branch said.

The Coast Guard advises public and recreational boaters of safety messages:

  • 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 taken out of the water and stored in a place 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.
  • Be prepared: Area residents should be prepared by developing a family plan, creating a disaster supply kit, having a place to go, securing their home and having a plan for pets. Information can be found at the National Hurricane Center’s website.
  • Stay informed: The public should monitor the progress and strength of the storm through local television, radio and 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.