The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:
(SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico) — Coast Guard Sector San Juan Alternate Captain of the Port, Capt. David Flaherty, set Port Condition YANKEE at 12 p.m. Tuesday for all the ports in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico due to incoming Tropical Storm Chantal.
During Port Condition YANKEE (gale force winds are anticipated to make landfall within 24 hours) the ports are open to outbound vessel traffic only, while commercial inbound vessels are restricted from entering the port.
Vessels greater than 500 gross tons currently in port should get underway at this time, while all other vessels remaining in port are to take appropriate precautionary measures to secure their vessels.
During Port Condition YANKEE, facilities should commence termination of cargo handling operations.
Ports, facilities and operators should anticipate additional restrictions on inbound and outbound traffic as Tropical Storm Chantal approaches.
Within the next 12 hours Port Condition ZULU may take effect in the southern and southwestern ports of Puerto Rico, including the ports of Guayama, Salinas, Ponce, Guayanilla, Tallaboa, Guanica and Mayaguez. During Port Condition ZULU, (sustained gale force winds from a hurricane force storm are predicted within 12 hours) the ports will remain closed to all incoming and outgoing vessel traffic until directed by the Captain of the Port.
Mariners should prepare for impending severe weather prior to the anticipated arrival of gale force winds or when an evacuation is in progress.
Owners and operators of recreational vessels should follow small craft advisories from the National Weather Service and take the necessary measures to safeguard the safety of their vessels.
Pleasure craft operators are advised to seek safe harbor. Owners of larger boats are urged to move their boats 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 secure life rings, lifejackets and small boats. These items, if not secured properly, can break free and require valuable search and rescue resources be diverted and precluded from assisting people who may actually be in distress.
Future port conditions cannot be predicted with any degree of certainty, but provided the storm remains on the projected course and track, port stakeholders can expect the established progression of port conditions.