Set Port Condition ZULU

Effective at 10:00 pm local on June 6, 2020 due to the continued intensification and progression of TS CRISTOBAL, the Captain of the Port (COTP) Sector New Orleans is setting Port Condition ZULU in accordance with the Maritime Hurricane Contingency Port Plan (MHCPP). The MHCPP is available online at

No vessel movement is authorized on the Lower Mississippi River from mile marker (MM) 20 Below Head of Passes to MM 303 Above Head of Passes without permission from the COTP or designated representative.  Requests for deviation from requirements for Port Condition ZULU should be directed to the Lower Mississippi River Vessel Traffic Center for consideration.  Except in an emergency or to prevent/mitigate a potentially hazardous condition, all vessels shall contact the Vessel Traffic Center prior to movement.  This includes vessels transiting in the river system intending to continue northbound to a safe refuge when ZULU is set.  If vessels move in the event of an emergency, notify the Vessel Traffic Center as soon as practicable.

Fleet boats may transit light boat in the vicinity of their fleets to conduct necessary safety checks on fleets and/or respond to emergencies.

Both Hurricane Regulated Navigation Areas (RNAs) are in effect as per Title 33 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 165.838 (refer to MSIB Volume XX Issues 061 and 063). All vessels still within the RNA when ZULU is set should contact New Orleans Vessel Traffic Center for consideration to evacuate into the Lower Mississippi River.

If unable to comply with the enforcement of the RNAs, vessels shall contact the Waterways Management Division at with the mitigating efforts they will take while remaining within the RNA.

All facilities that have an Annual Hurricane Operations Plan (AHOP) shall moor their vessels in accordance with those plans.

All vessels and facilities operating within the COTP New Orleans Zone should consider securing cargo operations in preparation for storm arrival and are strongly urged to implement the following:

• Secure missile hazards and clear nonessential equipment and loose gear.
• Secure/remove hazardous materials or cargos to a safe location, especially drums.
• Oil transfer terminals not engaged in transfer operations should drain all loading arms and hoses of product, blank off hoses, and empty/clean small discharge containment.
• Mooring lines doubled up with due consideration given to the effects of predicted storm surge.
• If moored, outboard anchor rigged at a short stay.
• Ensure sufficient number of officers and crew onboard to tend mooring lines, and/or get underway.
• Vessel ballasted to ensure maximum safety.
• All side ports, hatches, portholes, and other openings are closed and secured.
• All firefighting equipment is ready for immediate use.
• A continuous radio watch maintained on Channel 16 and 67 VHF-FM.
• If at anchorage, at least two anchors set, if equipped with two anchors.
• If at anchorage, vessels should remain ready to get underway within 15 minutes.
• Spare mooring lines and/or wires should be readily available.
• Facility storage tanks should be pressed up or empty (it is preferred to have empty and/or pressed up tanks vice multiple tanks partially full).
• Styrene and other similar product-producing facilities should take additional precautionary measures.

Under the Ports and Waterways Safety Act, the COTP may close portions of the port in response to forecasted weather and actual damage, impact, or threat in different geographic areas within the port.  The COTP may establish a Safety Zone controlling vessel movements and activities as appropriate, including all Navigable Waters of the United States within 12 nautical miles of shoreline.  All vessels are strongly urged to maintain a safe distance from the offshore safety fairways to protect the integrity of the navigational shipping lanes.

If you have any questions, please contact:

Waterways Management: (504) 365-2280 Email address:
Sector New Orleans Command Center (24 hour): (504) 365-2200
Vessel Traffic Center (24 Hour): (504) 365-2230 or VHF-FM channels 67 or 12
Coast Guard District Eight Bridges: (504) 671-2128
National Response Center (24 Hour): 1-800-424-8802