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Coast Guard upgrades port conditions for eastern Hawaiian Islands ahead of Darby

MEDIA RELEASE

HONOLULU — Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Captain of the Port, Capt. Michael Long, set Port Heavy Weather Condition X-RAY for all the ports on Hawai’i and Maui Islands and WHISKEY for ports on Oahu at noon today due to the current projected path of Tropical Storm Darby.

Maritime industry partners, the boating public and visitors are encouraged to prepare accordingly.

Due to the gale force winds generated by Darby expected within 48 hours, waterfront facilities should remove potential flying debris, hazardous materials and oil pollution hazards from dockside areas. Additionally, all hazardous materials and potential sources of pollution are to be secured due to anticipated heavy rain runoff.

At Port Heavy Weather Condition X-RAY, all pleasure craft shall seek sheltered waters. All ocean going commercial vessels and ocean going barges greater than 200 gross tons must make plans for departing the port area if they do not have COTP permission to remain. Vessels will be required to complete cargo operations and begin departing the port within 24 hours after Port Heavy Weather Condition X-RAY is set and within 60 hours after Port Heavy Weather Condition WHISKEY is set. Vessels less than 300 GT, but greater than 200 GT that desire to remain in port must submit a safe mooring plan in writing to the COTP and receive permission to remain in port. Vessels transiting within the vicinity of the Hawaiian Island harbors should seek sheltered waters until storm conditions subside and anticipate harbor closures at the discretion of the COTP as storm conditions progress.

Recreational boaters should secure boats and boating equipment. Owners of large boats are urged to move their vessels to protected marinas where they are less likely to break free of their moorings or be otherwise damaged. It may be advisable for smaller boats to be pulled from the water and stored in a location not prone to high winds or flooding. Regardless of location, all loose items aboard vessels need to be secured or removed.

Visitors to Hawaii should heed all warnings from lifeguards and public health and safety officials. Although weather conditions may appear favorable, rip tides and high surf often impact beaches far in advance of the actual storm. Even the best swimmers can fall victim to strong storm generated waves and currents. Swimmers are urged to stay clear of beaches until local officials say the water is safe. Near shore waters may become contaminated due to runoff up to several days following a storm.

Anyone present in the Main Hawaiian islands is advised to monitor the progress and strength of the storm through newspapers, the internet and local television and radio stations. Boaters can monitor the progress of storms on VHF channel 16. Small craft advisories and warnings are also broadcast on VHF channel 16.

The National Weather Service issued a high surf advisory for the main Hawaiian Islands and a high surf warning will go into effect at 6 p.m. Thursday. A small craft advisory for several bays and channels on the leeward side of the main Hawaiian Islands remains in effect through 6 p.m. Friday.

The Port Conditions are:

Condition Hurricane Season Preparedness (V): Seasonal readiness, 1 June – 30 Nov.
Condition Whiskey (IV): The ALERT condition in which winds above 34 knots (39 mph) are expected within 72 hours.
Condition X-Ray (III): The READINESS condition in which winds above 34 knots (39 mph) are expected within 48 hours.
Condition Yankee (II): The WARNING condition in which winds above 34 knots (39 mph) are expected within 24 hours.
Condition Zulu (I): The DANGER condition in which winds above 34 knots (39 mph) are expected within 12 hours and until the storm has passed and is no longer a threat.

The Coast Guard will continue to Broadcast Notice to Mariners and send out a Marine Safety Information Bulletin to notify the maritime community of port condition changes.

Additionally, all maritime users are requested to monitor the progress of this hurricane and make preparations accordingly.

For information on Tropical Storm Darby’s progress, please visit the Central Pacific Hurricane Center web page at www.prh.noaa.gov/cphc/tcpages/…

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