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Hot Port News from GAC

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Vizag Port, India
Caribbean Sea
Fernandina/Jacksonville, United States
Savannah/Brunswick, United States
St Petersburg, United States
Port movements suspended
Thursday, September 7, 2017, Vizag Port, India
Authorities at Vizag have suspended all inward and outward movements at EQ 5, EQ 6, EQ 7, EQ 8, EQ 9, WQ 4, WQ 5 & WQ 6 berths since yesterday evening (6 September), after a ship being loaded with steel billets started to list badly.

Stevedores are discharging the cargo using the EQ crane. Based on current information, this operation is expected to be completed by tomorrow.

The immediate priority of the port is to sail outward vessels, one-by-one. Thereafter, a decision will be made regarding the inward movement of waiting vessels.

For information about operations at Indian ports, contact GAC India at india@gac.com

Irma heading for Turks & Caicos Islands
Thursday, September 7, 2017, Caribbean Sea
At 800am AST (1200 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Irma was located near 20.1 North, 69.0 West.

Irma is moving toward the west-northwest near 17 mph (28 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue with some decrease in forward speed for the next couple of days.

On the forecast track, the eye of Irma should continue to move just north of the coast of Hispaniola today, be near the Turks and Caicos and southeastern Bahamas by this evening, and then be near the Central Bahamas by Friday.

Maximum sustained winds remain near 180 mph (285 km/h) with higher gusts. Irma is a category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next day or two, but Irma is forecast to remain a powerful category 4 or 5 hurricane during the next couple of days.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 50 miles (85 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 185 miles (295 km).

(For information about operations in the Americas, contact the GAC Houston Hub Agency Center at hub.us@gac.com)

Source: Extracts from National Hurricane Center, Miami FL, Hurricane Irma Intermediate Advisory No.33A issued at 800am AST Thu Sep 07 2017

Hurricane Condition Whiskey set, X-Ray anticipated later today
Thursday, September 7, 2017, Fernandina/Jacksonville, United States
The Captain of the Port set Port Hurricane Condition WHISKEY in the ports of Jacksonville and Fernandina at 8:00pmyesterday (Wednesday September 6). Based on the forward speed of Hurricane IRMA, port condition X-Ray is expected to be set at about 2000 today.

All maritime interests are directed to complete preparations to implement the Port Heavy Weather Plan for Northeast and Eastern Central Florida.

The ports of Fernandina, Jacksonville and Canaveral remain open with no restrictions. There are no “safe havens” identified within the ports of Jacksonville, Fernandina, and Canaveral for a vessel to safely survive tropical storm force winds, or storm surges without creating a threat to the safety of the port and public welfare. The safest condition for the port and during the arrival of a hurricane is when the inventory of vessels is at a minimum. All ships should coordinate their efforts in accordance with their evasion plan.  Masters should take early and decisive action to ensure the safety of their vessels and crews.

Vessels desiring to remain in port during the Hurricane must request and receive permission. The request must be submitted in writing and explain the reasons why the vessel is submitting the request. All requests must also include a completed “Remaining in Port Checklist” that will describe the mooring arrangements and vessel specifics.

About eight hours prior to the predicted arrival of sustained gale force winds (above 39mph), most bridges will be locked down and will not open until after the severe weather has passed. Vessels intending to evacuate the ports of Jacksonville, Fernandina, or Canaveral via the St. Johns River or the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway must depart early to avoid being blocked by bridges.

For information about operations in the USA contact GAC USA at usa@gac.com

Ports brace for hurricane
Thursday, September 7, 2017, Savannah/Brunswick, United States
At 1000 EST, Port Readiness Condition WHISKEY was set for the Ports of Savannah and Brunswick due to the potential impact from HURRICANE IRMA.

As conditions may change rapidly, you are encouraged to frequently check MSU Savannah’s Homeport website for the most up-to-date information. The website can be found at www.homeport.uscg.mil. Under the “Port Directory” menu, select “Savannah”.

(For information about operations in the USA contact GAC USA at usa@gac.com)

Source: Extract from U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Savannah Maritime Safety and Security Bulletin 44-17 dated 7 September 2017

Port Condition X-Ray (48 hour alert)
Thursday, September 7, 2017, St Petersburg, United States
Due to the possibility of gale force winds (34-47 knots) entering the Sector St Petersburg Captain of the Port (COTP) zone within 48 hours, the COTP is ordering Port Condition X-RAY for Fort Myers Beach immediately.

Based on current weather predictions, Port Condition X-RAY will be set for the ports of Manatee, St Petersburg and Tampa Bay at 2000 today, September 87, 2017.

The COTP will continue to evaluate weather predictions for the regions.

Prohibited operations: None.

Authorized operations: All

Current Actions: Waterfront facilities should remove potential flying debris, hazardous materials and oil pollutions hazards from dockside areas. Facilities should continue to implement container stacking protocols. All oceangoing commercial vessels greater tha 500 gross tons must prepare to depart the port and shall depart the port immediately if Port Condition YANKEE is set. All facilities shall continue to operate in accordance with their approved Facility Security Plans and comply with the requirements of MTSA Coast Guard Port Assessment. Teams are conducting port surveys. The COTP may require additional precautions to ensure the safety of the ports and waterways.
Future actions: Ports, facilities and operators should anticipate the setting of Port Condition YANKEE . If set, terminal operators should prepare to terminate all cargo operations. It would not preclude truck operations or container movement within the facility.

Drawbridges in the area may cease operations as early as eight hours prior to the anticipated arrival of sustained gale force winds or when an evacuation is in progress. During lock-down, the bridge is closed, power is turned off, traffic arms may be removed, the control house is secured and the bridge operator is sent to safety.

(For information about operations in the USA contact GAC USA at usa@gac.com)

Source: U.S. Coast Guard Sector St Petersburg Florida, Port Community Information Bulletin # 10-17 dated 7 September 2017

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