BALTIMORE — The Captain of the Port of Baltimore set port condition Yankee for all commercial waterways in the upper Chesapeake Bay, Saturday evening, in preparation for the anticipated weather impact of Hurricane Sandy.
This port condition is a change from the previous condition of X-ray.
A safety zone for the upper Chesapeake Bay from Smith Island to the C&D Canal has been established. The Port of Baltimore is closed to all inbound traffic. No vessel may enter this safety zone without the permission from the Captain of the Port. All cargo and bunker handling operations shall cease upon the setting of port condition Zulu.
Commercial vessels and barges more than 500 gross tons and all tank barges more than 200 gross tons departing the port must receive permission from the Captain of the Port.
All commercial vessels and barges that have received permission from the Captain of the Port to remain in port must be at their site in accordance with their application upon the setting of port condition Zulu.
Vessels bound for this port shall seek an alternative destination.
Mariners are also advised that drawbridges will remain closed when wind speeds are 34 knots or greater. Due to the uncertainty of weather movements and related bridge closures, mariners are urged to seek passage through drawbridges well in advance of the arrival of gale force winds.
The Coast Guard urges boaters to stay off the water. The Coast Guard’s search and rescue capabilities are degraded as storm conditions strengthen. This means that aid from the Coast Guard could be delayed. Boaters are urged to heed the weather watches, warnings and small craft advisories. People should not go out on their boats at this time and should wait at least 72-96 hours after a hurricane has passed through an area before attempting to get underway.
For updates on port conditions in Baltimore, visit the Coast Guard’s Homeport site.
Visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s site to stay informed and for tips to prepare and plan.