|The US Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston’s Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) held a Port Coordination Team (PCT) conference call at 0900 hours today to discuss the impact of foggy conditions for the past several days upon marine vessel traffic within the Houston, Galveston, Freeport and Texas City port complex. Your WGMA Maritime Affairs team participated on the call and has the following report for our membership:
The dense sea fog is projected to remain an issue until tomorrow.
National Weather Service:
· Short term issues are obviously the dense sea fog that has blanketed the area.
· Not much improvement is expected until the mid/late afternoon.
· Expecting light rain/drizzle later today that will help improve visibility somewhat across the Bay.
· The next front will be passing through Freeport/Galveston after midnight.
· It will be slow to clear behind the front because the winds aren’t very strong.
· Once the front is offshore conditions should be good for several days.
· Thankfully 100% of both ships and tows were caught up yesterday.
· The dead ship in Galveston departed successfully mid-morning as well.
· One more ship with limited maneuverability needs to move once conditions improve.
· High water action plan is in place for all brown water traffic.
· If the San Jacinto River current increases, there will be additional traffic measures put into place in the Houston Ship Channel for all traffic.
A rollcall of industry constituents confirmed that everything was caught up yesterday, however the fog today will result in several delays, so tomorrow there will likely be a few priorities.
· Currently they have 11 arrivals (1 daylight restricted) and 10 departures (3 daylight restricted) queued up for clearing conditions. Please get your orders for tonight and tomorrow to them so that they can begin planning. Correction: Yesterday’s PCT report advised moving only 9 ships; that number was actually 90.
Galveston-Texas City Pilots:
· One ship destined Texas City is outside awaiting clearing conditions; 2 ships due for Galveston, ETA about noon. 2 cruise ships came in this morning and will be looking to depart about 4PM today.
Agents are reminded to keep CBP and the pilot dispatch offices updated with your vessel’s status for movement, and to make sure that the ship’s eNOA/D are kept updated to avoid any problems.
WGMA members should note that our partners DTN WeatherOps can provide customized weather reports for your specific area, and their seasonal Fog Forecast gives you a 7-day outlook of fog for every port on the US Gulf Coast. Contact WGMA Maritime Affairs to sign up to receive these reports.
VTS Houston-Galveston advised they will hold another PCT conference call at 0900 hours Saturday, as they continue to monitor how well vessel traffic is moving. Your WGMA Maritime Affairs team will participate on the conference call and report to our members.