Commercial Ports Reopen in Wake of Typhoon Bolaven

October 11, 2023

© oporkka / Adobe Stock
© oporkka / Adobe Stock

Key commercial ports of Guam, Rota, and Saipan have been reopened in the wake of Typhoon Bolaven, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

"This decision, effective at noon on Oct. 11, 2023, follows meticulous assessments conducted by our dedicated crews and trusted partners." the Coast guard said.

The Coast Guard Captain of the Port (COTP) has downgraded the Port Heavy Weather Condition to WHISKEY, signifying the ports' readiness to resume operations from a regulatory and navigation safety standpoint.

Teams are working to obtain updates from partners on Tinian while simultaneously continuing comprehensive evaluations of local marinas and maritime facilities on Guam, Rota and Saipan. Initial reports indicate no maritime pollution incidents.

Typhoon Bolaven delivered tropical storm conditions to Guam but hit as a Category 2 typhoon as it passed through the channel south of Tinian in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Responding swiftly, Forces Micronesia Sector Guam, Base Guam, DOL-X, USCGC Hickory (WLB 212), Station Apra Harbor, and Marine Safety Detachment Saipan crews initiated assessments at the break of dawn.

Under the direction of the regional Captain of the Port, the U.S. Coast Guard established an incident management team responsible for overseeing response efforts in Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

All communication systems, including the vital Rescue 21 radio towers, are fully operational. Crews and partners have verified the integrity of the aids to navigation constellation, confirming their readiness. The electronic aids to navigation (eATON) in Guam were activated as a precautionary measure before the storm, demonstrating a proactive approach to safety.

The crews of the three 154-foot Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutters, homeported in Guam, navigated storm avoidance by mooring in Yap and are now returning to their homeport. Station Apra Harbor small boats are also back in the water.

The National Weather Service canceled the tropical storm warning and typhoon watch, but southwest winds of 20 to 25 knots with gusts up to 35 knots and seas ranging from 11 to 16 feet are anticipated. Additionally, there are warnings of dangerously large breaking waves of up to 12 feet in the surf zone through Thursday. These conditions have prompted a Small Craft Advisory and a High Surf Advisory.

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