PORT ST. MAARTEN – 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 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
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: 10.00AM, 11.45AM, 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 (eg. 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 other person’s property/livelihood.