Update: Assessment and Response from Storm Damage Caused by Hurricane Sandy Begins

By MarEx 2012-10-30 14:40:39

The Captain of the Port for Connecticut and Long Island Sound will begin easing restrictions on the waterways that are vital to the maritime commerce of the United States, Tuesday.

“We are continuing to work closely with our partner agencies to assess damage to our ports and waterways,” said Capt. Joseph Vojvodich, commander of Sector Long Island Sound. “Boaters are reminded to stay off the water until the waterways are reopened. If you have a recreational boat or watercraft that has come free from its mooring, please report it to the Coast Guard immediately. This can save valuable search and rescue resources from unnecessarily looking for a missing person."

The Ports of Connecticut and Long Island Sound have a Maritime Transportation System Recovery Unit in place that coordinates the reopening and survey of local waterways and facilities.  Once bad weather subsides, Coast Guard crews in conjunction with the Army Corps of Engineers, local harbor pilots and state and local authorities will begin inspecting shore-side facilities for damage.  They will also begin to check positions on every buoy in the port to ensure vessels can safely navigate the correct shipping channels.  Crews will also identify areas where shoaling has occurred due to moving sand disturbed by the passing storm.

As facilities are inspected, channel markers checked and the condition of the waterway’s bottom verified; the local Captain of the Port can begin to ease restrictions on waterways where commerce moves.  The Captain of the Port works with industry and local partners to prioritize ship movement to ensure normal commerce resumes.

Coast Guard response capabilities to urgent search and rescue remain restricted until a survey of the waterways is conducted.

The remnants of Hurricane Sandy continue to pose a danger and waterborne leisure activities should be delayed for the next few days.

Stay clear of beaches. Wave heights and currents remain a danger. 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.

---

Coast Guard Station New York Upholds Rescue Efforts 

As Hurricane Sandy moves ashore and weather subsides, Coast Guard Station New York upholds maritime rescue efforts, despite sustaining damage caused by Hurricane Sandy Tuesday.

Coast Guard crews are working closely with partner agencies to assess damage in our ports and waterways. Coast Guard personnel will begin reopening ports and waterways that are vital to the maritime commerce of the United States.

Currently ports in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts are closed to marine traffic.  The closures ensure vessel safety as damages are assessed.  Aids to navigations such as markers and buoys may be blown off station during strong storms as well as water depth changes due to storm surge and rough water conditions.

Along with debris and obstructions in the water, several boats and recreational watercrafts are adrift.

These numerous vessels have broken free from mooring lines and have been reported and seen on television broadcasts adrift. The Coast Guard is requesting any boat owner that knows if their boat is adrift, or sees their boat adrift to contact the Coast Guard.

These reports can save valuable search and rescue resources from unnecessarily looking for a missing person.

"In preparation for Hurricane Sandy, crews from Coast Guard Station New York, relocated our search and rescue boats to a safe haven," said Lt. Cmdr. Bill Walsh, commanding officer of Coast Guard Station New York. “Despite damage to our station buildings and grounds, our crews are ready to respond to urgent maritime distress calls.”

'

NEW YORK – A Coast Guard helicopter crew from Air Station Cape Cod, Mass., observes property damages along the New Jersey coast caused by Hurricane Sandy, during an over-flight performed, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Erik Swanson.

Homes are flooded in Tuckerton, N.J., Oct. 30, 2012, after Hurricane Sandy made landfall on the southern New Jersey coastline, Oct. 29, 2012. The photo was taken by a Coast Guard crewmember aboard an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City during a flooding assessment overflight. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Boats are displaced in Brigantine, N.J., Oct. 30, 2012, after Hurricane Sandy made landfall on the southern New Jersey coastline, Oct. 29, 2012. The photo was taken by a Coast Guard crewmember aboard an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City during a flooding assessment overflight. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

NEW YORK – A Coast Guard helicopter crew from Air Station Cape Cod, Mass., observes property damages along the New Jersey coast caused by Hurricane Sandy, during an over-flight performed, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Erik Swanson.