Setting of Port Condition ZULU

At 2200 local time, August 23, 2020, in preparation for the approaching Hurricane MARCO and Tropical Storm LAURA, the Captain of the Port (COTP) Sector New Orleans will set Port Condition ZULU in accordance with the Maritime Hurricane Contingency Port Plan (MHCPP) found at

Port Status: No vessel movement is authorized within the COTP New Orleans Zone, as described in Title 33 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 3.40-15, without permission from the COTP or designated representative, including on the Lower Mississippi River from Mile Marker (MM) 20 Below Head of Passes to MM 303 Above Head of Passes and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) from MM 44.2 East of Harvey Locks (EHL) to MM 20 West of Harvey Locks (WHL).

Requests for deviation from requirements for Port Condition ZULU should be directed to the Lower Mississippi River Vessel Traffic Center for consideration using Attachment (1) of this MSIB.  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 without contacting the Vessel Traffic Center prior to movement.

RNA Status: Both Hurricane Regulated Navigation Areas (RNAs) are in effect as per 33 CFR 165.838 (refer to MSIB Volume XX Issue 091).  All vessels still within the RNA when ZULU is set should contact the Vessel Traffic Center for consideration to evacuate into the Lower Mississippi River.  The RNA canals shall not be used for safe haven.  Vessel owners must use good judgment in determining a floating vessel’s mooring location during a storm.  All facilities with an Annual Hurricane Operations Plan (AHOP) shall moor their vessels in accordance with those plans.

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.

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.

(1) Request for Vessel Movement Deviation Form – submit via email to
(2) Storm Preparation Checklist for Vessels (Port Condition ZULU)
(3) Storm Preparation Checklist for Waterfront Facilities (Port Condition ZULU) – submit via email to or

For additional information, contact the following:

Waterways Management: (504) 365-2280 Email address:
Sector New Orleans Command Center (24 hour): (504) 365-2200
Vessel Traffic Center (24 Hour): (504) 365-2514 or VHF-FM channels 5A, 12, or 67
Coast Guard District Eight Bridges: (504) 671-2128
National Response Center (24 Hour): 1-800-424-8802