KEY WEST, Fla., — Effective 8 a.m., Friday, the Coast Guard set Port Condition Zulu for Captain of the Port Zone (COTP) Key West, Florida, due to the expectation of sustained gale force winds generated by Hurricane Irma that may arrive within the next 12 hours.

Based on the projected course and speed of Hurricane Irma, potential gale force winds of 39mph/35kts may impact the COTP zone Key West beginning Friday evening.

The COTP is ordering Port Condition Zulu to be set as follows:

The Port of Key West is closed.

The COTP Key West has established a safety zone for the Port of Key West. As of 8 a.m., vessels may not enter or transit within this safety zone without the permission of the COTP. All vessel movements are prohibited at this time, and all ship to shore operations must cease.

The Snake Creek Drawbridge will remain locked in the down position by FDOT until further notice.

Ensure that moorings are secured and remove potential flying debris, hazardous materials, and oil pollution hazards from dockside areas.

Hazardous materials should be removed from areas prone to flooding.

All practicable/reasonable measures should be taken to ensure maximum stability on all vessels.

All small craft that can be hauled out or placed on trailers should be secured. All other small craft should seek safe haven in sheltered locations.

All marine interests must take action to ensure safety of the port and vessels. Future port conditions cannot be predicted with any degree of certainty, but provided the storm remains on the projected course and track, port stakeholders can expect sustained gale (39mph/35kts) force winds from a major hurricane are predicted within 12 hours.

The Coast Guard is committed to the swift recovery from the storm with search and rescue operations and safety of life as our first priority, followed by doing everything in our power to reopen the ports and waterways and resume the flow of maritime commerce to maintain security and stability throughout the nation.

"The Coast Guard is working with local, state, and federal partners to ensure they are aware of port condition changes and hurricane response preparations, " said Key West Sector Commander Capt. Jeffrey Janszen.

Mariners in distress should call Coast Guard Sector Key West Command Center at (304) 433-3352 or via VHF-FM channel 16.   back...
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