Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound sets Port Condition ZULU for Hurricane Henri

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U.S. Coast Guard 1st District PA Detachment New York
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Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound sets Port Condition ZULU for Hurricane Henri

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The Coast Guard set Port Condition ZULU for all commercial waterways in Long Island Sound ahead of Hurricane Henri, Saturday. 

The order, set by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port (COTP) for Long Island Sound, went into effect at 11 p.m., due to the expectation of gale force winds expected to arrive within 12 hours.

Effects of Hurricane Henri are expected to be felt in the Sector Long Island Sound Zone beginning Saturday evening. Dangerous storm surge inundation is expected to begin Sunday in portions of Long Island, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and southern Massachusetts, where a Storm Surge Warning has been issued. Hurricane conditions are expected to begin Sunday in portions of Long Island and Connecticut, where a Hurricane Warning has been issued.

Mariners are reminded there are no safe havens in these facilities, and ports are safest when the inventory of vessels is at a minimum.

While port condition Zulu is in place no vessels may enter or transit within these ports without permission of the COTP. All vessel movements are prohibited at this time, and all ship-to-shore operations must cease until further notice

Please refer to Marine Safety Information Bulletin (MSIB) 07-21 for details.

Hurricane Henri is a dangerous storm. Pleasure craft are advised to seek a safe haven. Draw bridges may not operate upon onset of high winds or when an evacuation is in progress. Closely monitor NOAA weather forecasts for storm-related information.

“Port Condition Zulu has been set because Hurricane Henri poses a serious threat to our Captain of the Port Zone," said Lt. Cmdr. Jon Duffett, Sector Long Island Sound Acting Prevention Department Head. "Safety of people, property, and environment are paramount, and minimizing activity on the waterways is the best way to mitigate risk from the storm. Sector Long Island Sound thanks and appreciates our proactive port partners for executing their heavy weather plans and reporting their status in accordance with our Marine Safety Information Bulletins. Please report any known hazards to the Sector Long Island Sound Command Center and be safe!”

All mariners are encouraged to use all means available to monitor the path of Hurricane Henri and remain prepared to take action as the system progresses. In addition, the Coast Guard is advising the public of these important safety messages: 

Stay off the water. The Coast Guard’s search and rescue capabilities degrade as storm conditions strengthen. This means help could be delayed. Boaters should heed weather watches, warnings, and small craft advisories.

Secure belongings. Owners of large boats are urged to move their vessels to inland marinas where they will be less vulnerable to breaking free of their moorings or to 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 remove EPIRBs and to secure life rings, lifejackets, and small boats. These items, if not properly secured, can break free and require valuable search and rescue resources be diverted to ensure people are not in distress.

Stay clear of beaches. Wave heights and currents typically increase before a storm makes landfall. Even the best swimmers can fall victim to the strong waves and rip currents caused by tropical storms or hurricanes. Swimmers should stay clear of beaches until local lifeguards and law enforcement officials say the water is safe.

Be prepared. Area residents should be prepared by developing a family plan, creating a disaster supply kit, having a place to go, securing their home and having a plan for pets. Information can be found at the National Hurricane Center’s webpage.

Stay informed. The public should monitor the progress and strength of the storm through local television, radio, and the Internet. Boaters can monitor its progress on VHF radio channel 16. Information can also be obtained on small craft advisories and warnings on VHF radio channel 16. Monitor NOAA weather forecasts for current storm information. 

Don’t rely on social media. People in distress should use 911 to request assistance whenever possible. Social media should not be used to report life-threatening distress due to limited resources to monitor the dozens of social media platforms during a hurricane or large-scale rescue event.

Be advised. Pleasure craft may need to seek safe haven. Also, drawbridges may not be operating if sustained gale force winds are attained or if evacuation is in progress.

For information on Hurricane Henri's progress and hurricane preparedness, please visit the National Hurricane Center's webpage.