The US Coast Guard Captain of the Ports for Key West and Miami (COTP) set special measures port conditions due to the expectation of sustained gale force winds of 39 and 73 mph generated from Hurricane Elsa.
Mariners are reminded there aren’t safe havens in these facilities, and ports are safest when the inventory of vessels is at a minimum
For the Ports of Key West, all ocean-going commercial vessels and ocean-going barges 300 gross tons and above should make plans for departing the port.
For the Ports of Miami, all ocean-going vessels and ocean-going barges greater than 500 gross tons should make plans for departing the port.
Vessels desiring to remain in port must immediately contact the COTP to receive permission and are required to submit a safe mooring plan in writing. Vessels bound for South Florida unable to depart 24 hours prior to threatening winds making landfall are advised to seek an alternate destination.
Port facilities are also advised to review their heavy weather plans and take all necessary precautions to adequately prepare for the expected conditions.