PORT ST. MAARTEN – The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season is forecast to be an active one according to forecasters. Five named storms have already formed so far for the season.
At Port St. Maarten, a number of assessments have been carried out in connection with the season and the port’s hurricane preparedness plans. All pre-storm/hurricane plans are in place and ready to be activated in the event of a threat to the country.
Port St. Maarten would like to remind boat owners and mariners with respect to its protocols for pre-storm/hurricane preparations for the Simpson Bay and Causeway Bridges in connection with the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
Port users and carriers operating out of the cargo section at the Dr. A.C. Wathey Cruise & Cargo Facility are advised to review their hurricane season operating plans if they have not already done so, with respect to keeping equipment and containers at the port facility to a minimum and to have the necessary plans in place to secure equipment in the event of a storm/hurricane threat.
For all vessels wishing to enter/exit the Simpson Bay Lagoon, prepare well in advance to come through the bridges. Listen out on marine radio VHF Channel 12 or local radio stations, if there are any changes to or added bridge openings.
Regular Simpson Bay Bridge opening times are: 8.30AM Outbound, 9.30AM Inbound; 10.30AM Out, 11.30AM In; 15.00PM In, 16.00PM Out, 17.00PM In Regular Causeway Bridge opening times: 8.00AM, 10.00AM, 15.30PM. Bridges will not open above wind speeds of 25 knots sustained.
The Simpson Bay Lagoon should not be considered as a safe haven. Vessels wishing to enter are urged to do so in a timely manner. Commercial cargo vessels should not seek refuge in the Simpson Bay Lagoon.
The best place to secure your vessel in the event of a hurricane is a boat yard or on land. Mariners are urged to make appointments with boat yards for haul out.
Vessel owners should ensure that all loose objects or potential objects are removed from the deck of the vessel and secured below (e.g., Sails, awnings, fenders etc.)
Anchored vessels are to ensure that the vessel has enough ground tackle and that it is sufficient for any expected weather conditions, and all lines have chafing gear.
Boat owners are responsible for their property and may be held liable for damages to another person’s property/livelihood.
The remaining storm names for the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season are: Fred, Grace, Henri, Ida, Julian, Kate, Larry, Mindy, Nicholas, Odette, Peter, Rose, Sam, Teresa, Victor and Wanda.
Listen to the Government Radio station – 107.9FM - for official information and news before, during and after a hurricane.
For official weather-related information, check out the website of the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten (MDS): www.meteosxm.com or visit their social media page Facebook.com/sxmweather/