RESTRICTIONS: Effective 4:00 p.m., Friday, September 22, 2023, the coastal waters of Virginia from Cape Charles Light south to the Virginia-North Carolina border are closed to vessel traffic. Other than vessels designated by the Captain of the Port, no vessels may enter, transit, or move, within the closed area. Vessels at anchor in Anchorage 'R' shall remain at anchor. No additional vessels may anchor within Anchorage 'R' unless authorized by the COTP.
Vessel movements and commercial activities within the Port of Virginia are authorized for vessels of less than 500 GT.
Given the forecasted weather, the restrictions are anticipated to remain in effect through Saturday afternoon/evening, September 23, 2023. Notification will be made to the maritime community prior to restrictions being removed.
SITUATION: The National Weather Service has issued a tropical storm warning for much of the Chesapeake Bay, its tributaries, and the coastal waters of Southeast Virginia. Sustained gale-force winds of 35-40 kts are expected with possible gusts as high as 55 kts. Strongest winds are expected today at 6 p.m. and persist through Saturday afternoon. Hazardous marine conditions are expected from Friday afternoon through midday Saturday due to strong winds and 8-12 foot seas offshore of Cape Henry.
MONITORING: Facility operators should make preparations to ensure all loose cargo, cargo equipment, and debris are secured. Vessels at facilities shall carefully monitor their moorings and cargo operations. Additional anchor(s) should be made ready to let go and preparations shall be made to have a continuous anchor watch during the storm. Engine(s) should be made immediately available for maneuvering. Also, vessels should maintain a continuous listening watch on VHF Channel 16.
Mariners should consider altering plans to avoid possible hazardous conditions; remain in port, seek safe harbor, alter course, and/or secure the vessel for severe wind and waves.
Please note that with higher wind speeds and heavy surf conditions, the Coast Guard's ability to respond to emergencies could be affected.
Due to the high winds, regional bridge operations may be impacted.
Mariners are advised to monitor the latest forecasts from the National Weather Service or other weather media outlets as conditions and forecasts may change.
COMMUNICATIONS: For urgent safety of life issues, please contact the Sector Virginia Command Center on VHF-FM Channel 16 or call (757) 483-8567. For any other questions relating to this bulletin, please call the Waterways Management Division duty watchstander at (757) 374-3408 or email VirginiaWaterways@uscg.mil.
Authority: 33 CFR § 165.501