WILMINGTON, N.C. — The U.S. Coast Guard warns boat owners in Wilmington and Morehead City to find a safe place for their boats before Hurricane Dorian Arrives.
Tuesday morning, the Coast Guard announced that the Wilmington and Morehead City ports are set at Port Condition X-Ray, which means tropical-storm-force winds are expected with 48 hours.
USCG said any boat owners in the area should monitor the weather and look for "safe harbor" before Dorian arrives.
"All ocean-going commercial vessels and barges greater than 500 gross tons should make plans for departing North Carolina ports," the USCG added in a news release.
The Coast Guard added that any commercial vessels and barges over 500 gross tons hoping to remain in port needed to submit a mooring plan to the Captain of the Port by 4 a.m. Tuesday.
If winds hit 25 mph or areas are evacuated, drawbridges may not be operating.
The Coast Guard also issued the following warnings:
- Stay off the water. The Coast Guard's search and rescue capabilities degrade as storm conditions strengthen. Boaters should heed weather watches, warnings, and small craft advisories.
- Be prepared. Owners of large boats are urged to move their vessels to inland marinas. Trailerable boats should be pulled from the water and stored in a place that is not prone to flooding. Those leaving boats in the water are reminded to remove EPIRBs and secure life rings, life jackets, and small boats. These items can break free and may require valuable search and rescue resources be diverted to ensure people are not in distress.
- Stay informed. The public should monitor the progress and strength of the storm through local television, radio, and the Internet. Information can also be obtained on 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 event.