Coast Guard Sets Port Condition ZULU Ahead of Hurricane Douglas

July 26, 2020, 12:04 AM HST · Updated July 26, 12:04 AM
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PC: U.S. Coast Guard & NOAA/NWS/CPHC

The Coast Guard Captain of the Port set port condition ZULU for Hawaii County, Saturday.

The USCG also anticipated setting the port condition in Maui County to ZULU at 8 p.m.; Honolulu County to ZULU early Sunday at 2 a.m.; and Kauai County to ZULU at 8 a.m., Sunday.

The Coast Guard reminds mariners that our facilities and ports are safest when the inventory of vessels is at a minimum. While port condition ZULU remains in effect, port facilities will be restricted until the storm has passed and crews complete damage assessment surveys.

At 8 a.m., Hurricane Douglas was 400 miles east of Hilo, with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph moving west-northwest at 18 mph. Douglas is currently a category 2 hurricane.

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Vessels that desire to remain in port must submit a safe mooring plan in writing to the COTP and DOT-Harbors Division and receive permission to remain in port. Requests to remain in port can be found here.

The public is reminded of these important safety messages:

When hurricane or tropical-storm-force winds are present, stay off the water. The Coast Guard’s search and rescue capabilities degrade as storm conditions strengthen. This may delay help. Boaters should heed weather watches, warnings, and small craft advisories. Evacuate as necessary. Coast Guard personnel and other emergency responders may not be able to evacuate or rescue those in danger until after the storm has passed.

Secure belongings. Owners of large boats are urged to move their vessels to inland marinas where they may be less vulnerable to breaking free of moorings or causing significant 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 update Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) registration and secure them safely to the vessel before a significant storm. These devices often float free from vessels in marinas or at docks during hurricanes and signal a distress when there is none. Ensure life rings, lifejackets, and small boats are secured. These items, if not properly secured, can break free and require valuable search and rescue resources to 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 hurricanes. Swimmers should stay clear of beaches until local lifeguards and law enforcement officials say the water is safe.

Be prepared. Area residents should develop a personal or family plan, creating a 14-day disaster supply kit to include any prescriptions, having a place to go, securing their home, and having a plan for pets.

Stay informed. The public should monitor the progress and strength of the storm through local television, radio, and the Internet. Boaters can track its progress on VHF radio channel 16. Information is also available through small craft advisories and warnings on VHF radio channel 16.

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 operation.

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