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HomeNewsLocal governmentDPNR Gives Storm Preparation Guidelines for Boaters in USVI

DPNR Gives Storm Preparation Guidelines for Boaters in USVI

A motorboat washed ashore earlier this year in Muller Bay after break free from its mooring during a storm (Kelsey Nowakowski)

All boaters should begin to make necessary preparations as the remainder of the 2020 Hurricane Season begins to intensify. In the event of a tropical system, boaters are advised to plan or relocate to the havens mentioned below.

The V.I. Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR) advises boaters to use the three-point mooring system found in the “Survive a Hurricane” booklet, available at the V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA).

St. Thomas-St. John District:

Safe Haven — Benner Bay, Mandahl Pond, Flamingo Bay

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Hurricane Hole is under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service (NPS); boaters must coordinate with NPS on St. John for assigned mooring location. Contact the chief ranger of protection.

St. Croix District:

Safe Haven – Salt River

  1. Initial entry into the havens will be on a first-come, first-serve basis.
  2. Boaters will return to regular moorings once a new bulletin is issued:

However:

Hurricane anchors can remain for the entire hurricane season.

Vessels leaving anchors in the haven will use one mooring ball attached to the hurricane anchor line marked with the vessel’s registration number.

During additional storms, vessels may return to the initial location marked by mooring ball displaying vessel’s registration number.

Vessels may not anchor in or obstruct navigational channels in Benner Bay or Salt-River.

No vessels are allowed at Krause Lagoon or its channel on St. Croix. This area is designated a Homeland Security Zone.

  1. Boaters should not remain on-board their vessels during a storm. Land-based shelters are available. Contact VITEMA.
  2. After the hurricane season is ‘deemed over,’ all hurricane anchors and gear must be removed.
  3. Securing vessels to nearby trees will be done only when necessary and by utilizing proper chaffing material on all lines. Lines must be removed immediately after the storm.
  4. Communication with boaters will be via press release or V.I. radio on Marine Channel 16.
  5. After the storm, owners of vessels that have sunk or washed ashore must notify the Department of Planning and Natural Resources with the vessels location (GPS) and an estimated time when the owner will salvage his/her vessel. Vessel owners are responsible for removing wrecked vessels.
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