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USCG Sets Condition ZULU Ahead of Hurricane Douglas

On Sunday morning the US Coast Guard Captain of the Port set port condition ZULU for Honolulu and Kauai Counties as Hurricane Douglas continues to threaten Hawaii. Port condition ZULU means gale-force winds are predicted to arrive within 12 hours and ports are closed to all inbound and outbound traffic.

Hurricane Douglas tracks toward Hawaii
Areas of Hawaii have dodged Hurricane Douglas but the severe weather warnings remain in place.
© 2020 NHC/NOAA

USCG issued the following report:

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 0800, Hurricane Douglas was 90 miles east of Kahului, Maui, with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph, moving west-northwest at 18 mph. Douglas is currently a Category 1 hurricane.

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. Trailerable 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 the units 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 (including 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.

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

The Coast Guard will continue to issue Broadcast Notice to Mariners and send out a Marine Safety Information Bulletin to notify the maritime community of port condition changes.

All maritime users are requested to monitor the progress of this hurricane and make preparations accordingly.

For Coast Guard updates regarding Hurricane Douglas follow the Coast Guard 14th District’s Twitter @USCGHawaiiPac.

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