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Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Cyclones and Typhoons, Port Conditions, Ports & Terminals — By on September 6, 2017 at 7:13 PM


Houston/Texas City/Galveston/Freeport, United States
Sabine-Neches Waterway, United States
Miami/Miami River/Port Everglades/Palm Beach/Ft. Pierce, United States
Andaman & Nicobar Islands, India
Caribbean Sea
Tampa/St. Petersburg/Manatee, United States
Port Everglades, United States
Port Condition Recovery (Update Four)
Wednesday, September 6, 2017, Houston/Texas City/Galveston/Freeport, United States
All ports and waterways in the Captain of the Port Houston/Galveston Zone are now operating, with some restrictions are in place.

As at 1800 hours local time on 4 September:

  • Galveston Bay Entrance Channel, Outer Bar Channel, Inner Bar Channel and Bolivar Bar Roads Channel are open 24/7
  • Galveston Harbor is open 24/7
  • Texas City is open 24/7
  • Bolivar Roads Anchorages A/B/C are open 24/7 at Pilot’s discretion – short duration use for bunkering, inspection and other husbandry
  • Houston Ship Channel open 24/7 below Sidney Sherman Bridge the following draft restrictions apply:
    – Entrance Channel to Baytown Highlines with a restriction of 40’
    – Baytown Highlines to Sam Houston Bridge with a restriction of 38’
    – Sam Houston Bridge to Sidney Sherman Bridge with a restriction of 32’
    – No transit permitted between Sidney Sherman Bridge and Buffalo Bayou
  • Intracoastal Waterway open 24/7 High Island to Brazos Floodgates
  • Port of Freeport open daylight only to maximum 38’ draft
  • Mariners should take note of any restrictions in place by VTS Port Arthur before proceeding east of fleeting area at MM343.5

For information about operations in the USA contact GAC USA at

Restrictions in place for storm recovery
Wednesday, September 6, 2017, Sabine-Neches Waterway, United States
The following restrictions are in effect on the Sabine-Neches Waterway:

  1. Vessels greater than 500 gross tons (GT) are limited to daylight hours only.
  2. A draft restriction of 30-feet is in place for all waters of the Sabine-Neches Waterway.
  3. Inland towing vessels (push boats) shall ensure they have sufficient horsepower for the tow configuration given the reported currents. Tows greater than 800-feet are discouraged until currents subside.
  4. Due to extreme currents, no meeting or overtaking will be allowed at the Neches River intersection. VTS Port Arthur will coordinate arrival at intersections with each vessel. Confirm approval before proceeding beyond your ability to hold position.
  5. Neches River: twos limited to two loads. Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis. Concerned traffic should contact VTS Port Arthur.
  6. West Port Arthur Bridge: No restrictions.
  7. All commercial vessels operating in the Port Arthur VTS Area are esingated VTS Users. All VTS Users movement shall be reported to VTS Port Arthur at least 15-minutes prior to sailing on channels 01A or 65A VHF-FM or by phone to (409) 719-5070.

Mariners are reminded to proceed with extreme caution. Available post-storm assessments indicate severe currents and significant debris on the entire Sabine-Neches Waterway. Vessel movement restrictions will be evaluated and updated regularly as current conditions change and additional survey data is received and evaluated. Mariners are directed to report all wrecks, obstructions, oil spills, ATON discrepancies or other hazardous conditions to VTS Port Arthur.

(For information about operations in the USA contact GAC USA at

Source: U.S. Coast Guard, Marine Safety Unit Port Arthur, Texas, Marine Safety Information Bulleting 16-17 issued at 4pm on 4 September 2017  

Port Condition Whiskey (72 hour alert) set for Hurricane Irma
Wednesday, September 6, 2017, Miami/Miami River/Port Everglades/Palm Beach/Ft. Pierce, United States
Hurricane Irma has developed into an extremely dangerous Category 5 hurricane.

Due to the possibility of gale force winds entering South Florida within 72 hours, the Captain of the Port (COTP) is ordering Port Condition Whiskey to be set at 0800 today (6 September) at the Port of Miami, Miami River, Port Everglades, Port of Palm Beach, Port of Ft. Pierce and all other terminals and facilities within the Sector Miami’s area of responsibility.

No operations are prohibited at this time.

Current actions include:

  • Waterfront facilities should remove potential flying debris, hazardous materials and oil pollution hazards from dockside areas.
  • Container stacking plans should be implemented to reduce general cargo container stacking to no more than two high for containers containing hazardous materials, no more than four high for all other containers, or propose alternate securing arrangements to the COTP.
  • Manned, self-propelled, oceangoing vessels moored or at anchor should be prepared to get underway immediately, have a navigation watch set, and maintain a listening watch on Channel 16 VHF-FM. The COTP should be notified of all unmanned or “dead” vessel;s within the COTP Miami Zone.
  • Masters, owners, operators or agents of oceangoing commercial vessels greater than 500 gross tons that must remain in port during this system because of operational system problems must request and receive permission from the COTP before the setting of Port Condition X-Ray.
  • Hazardous materials should be removed from areas prone to flooding.
  • All practicable and reasonable measures should be taken to ensure stability on all vessels.

All ports in the Miami COTP Zone should watch this system closely and be prepared for the onset of Port Condition X-Ray, anticipated Thursday, September 7, as the track becomes more defined.

For information about operations in the USA contact GAC USA at

Discount for cruise vessels
Wednesday, September 6, 2017, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, India
The Port Management Board of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands in Port Blair has advised that a 25% discount is given on port service charges for visiting foreign cruise vessels on more than one entry to any port of the Islands during a single voyage. Those with a single entry are offered a 15% discount.

For information about operations in India contact GAC India at

Hurricane Irma update (6 September)
Wednesday, September 6, 2017, Caribbean Sea
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for: Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Kitts, and Nevis; Saba, St. Eustatius, and Sint Maarten; Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy; British Virgin Islands; U.S. Virgin Islands; Puerto Rico, Vieques, and Culebra; Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to the northern border with Haiti; Guadeloupe; and Southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for: Haiti from the northern border with the Dominican Republic to Le Mole St. Nicholas; Turks and Caicos Islands; Southeastern Bahamas; Cuba from Matanzas province eastward to Guantanamo province; and Central Bahamas.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for: Dominican Republic from south of Cabo Engano westward to the southern border with Haiti.

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for: Haiti from south of Le Mole St. Nicholas to Port-Au-Prince.

At 800am (1200 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Irma was located near 18.1 North, 63.3 West. Irma is moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph (26 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days. On the forecast track, the extremely dangerous core of Irma will move over portions of the northern Virgin Islands today, pass near or just north of Puerto Rico this afternoon or tonight, and pass near or just north of the coast of the Dominican Republic Thursday [7 September].

Maximum sustained winds remain near 185 mph (295 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 175 miles (280 km)…

…Hurricane conditions will continue today within the hurricane warning area in the Leeward Islands.
Hurricane conditions are expected to begin within the British and U.S. Virgin Islands this morning and spread westward over portions of Puerto Rico later today.
Hurricane conditions are expected to begin within the hurricane warning area in the Dominican Republic early Thursday, with tropical storm conditions beginning tonight.
Hurricane conditions are expected in the warning area in the southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands beginning Thursday night.
Hurricane and tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area in Haiti by early Thursday and in the central Bahamas and Cuba by Friday

(For information about operations in the Americas, contact the GAC Hub Agency Center in Houston at

Source: Extracts from National Hurricane Center, Miami FL, Hurricane Irma Intermediate Advisory No.29A issued at 800am AST on 6 September 2017

Port Condition Whiskey set
Wednesday, September 6, 2017, Tampa/St. Petersburg/Manatee, United States
Due to the possibility of gale force winds (34-47 knows) entering the Tampa Bay area within 72 hours, the Captain of the Port (COTP) is ordering Port Condition WHISKEY for the ports of Tampa, St. Petersburg and Manatee. The COTP will continue to evaluate weather predictions for the region.

(For information about operations in the USA contact GAC USA at

Source: Extract from U.S. Coast Guard, Sector St. Petersburg Florida, Port Community Information Bulletin #09-17 released 6 September 2017

Forecast port condition status
Wednesday, September 6, 2017, Port Everglades, United States
The following projected forecast has been given for the port condition status of Port Everglades in light of the approach of Hurricane Irma:
– Whiskey (72 hr) – current port condition
– X-Ray (48 hr) – Thursday @ 12pm local time
– Yankee (24 hr) – Friday @ 12pm local time
– Zulu (12 hr) – Saturday morningThe above forecast times are subject to change based on updated weather conditions.For information about operations in the USA contact GAC USA at

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