Boat owners and mariners advised to review hurricane season preparatory plans



GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – Boat owners and mariners are being advised by the Office of Disaster Management (ODM) to review their hurricane preparatory plans so they can be ready to take action in the event of a storm/hurricane threat to the island during the upcoming peak months of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season.

The 2017 hurricane season has already seen four systems develop, three of them since June 1st. The Office of Disaster Management hereby advises mariners and boat owners to ask themselves, “How have you prepared yourself for the hurricane season?”

ODM is requesting mariners and boat owners to make special preparations to stay with friends or in a hotel, and not to remain on their vessel during the passing of a hurricane while moored in the Simpson Bay Lagoon or Oyster Pond.

Hurricanes have been the cause of many maritime disasters.

The decision to leave port for hurricane avoidance must be made very clearly.  Consideration to the latest safe departure time and likely avoidance routes must be balanced with a number of other factors.  Most important of these is time versus distance.

The risk of damage to a vessel at sea increases as the motion of the hurricane increases towards the maximum safe speed of the vessel attempting to leave port in advance of that system.

Considerations to remain in port during hurricane passage must include an evaluation of the amount of protection afforded by the port.  The direction from which the strongest winds are forecast to blow along with the potential for storm surge must be factored in when deciding whether to seek haven pier side or at anchorage.  Ports and harbours also have their own storm/hurricane protocols which must be followed.

ODM says, ‘Remember It Only Takes One to Make It a Bad Season.’