Sector Maryland MSIB 09-23 Weather Advisory: Tropical Cyclone 16 (Tropical Storm Ophelia) Port Condition - YANKEE


September 22, 2023

Dear Subscriber,


From U.S. Coast Guard Sector Maryland:

Summary: Coast Guard Sector Maryland-National Capital Region (NCR) Captain of the Port (COTP) is monitoring the projected track of Tropical Cyclone 16, expected to be named Tropical Storm Ophelia. Due to expected gale-force winds within 24 hours, the COTP Maryland-NCR has set Port Condition YANKEE as of 10 p.m. Thursday, September 21, 2023. Currently, the port remains OPEN. However, port partners should anticipate Sector Maryland-NCR shifting to a modified Port Condition ZULU, ceasing all vessel movements on the Chesapeake Bay south of the Bay Bridges at 10 p.m. Friday, September 22, 2023. This restriction is expected to be lifted after the storm and gale-force winds subside.

Situation: Starting on the evening of Friday, September 22nd into Sunday, September 24th, the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland Eastern Shore, and coastal areas are expected to experience storm and gale force winds, heavy seas, storm surge, and tidal flooding as this system moves through our area. We are coordinating closely with Sector Virginia and will continue to publicize any changes to their COTP zone that will affect traffic entering or transiting the Chesapeake Bay. At this time, Sector Virginia intends to set modified Port Condition ZULU and close the coastal waters of Virginia from Cape Charles Light south to the Virginia-North Carolina border to all vessel traffic at 4 p.m. on Friday, September 22, 2023. Future changes to Virginia and Maryland Port Conditions and Port Status will made via updates to this Marine Safety Information Bulletin (MSIB).

Monitoring: Mariners, waterfront facilities, and shipping agencies are urged to take necessary preparations to mitigate any potential effects from Tropical Storm Ophelia by consulting their heavy weather plans and checklists. Mariners are advised to monitor tropical storm activity on the National Hurricane Center website, as well as available national, local, and weather media outlets. Mariners should consider altering plans to avoid possible hazardous conditions. Remain in port, seek safe harbor, alter course, and secure the vessel for severe wind and waves. Please note that with higher wind speeds, the Coast Guard’s ability to respond to emergencies may be affected.

Communications: If you have any questions regarding the contents of this bulletin, or the expectations of the COTP Maryland-NCR, please contact our Waterways Management staff at (410) 576-2595 or 2519, or via email at