TheDecisiontoSortieorRemaininPort

TheDecisiontoSortieorRemaininPort


POHANG

THE DECISION TO SORTIE OR REMAIN IN PORT

General

Under normal circumstances, the decision on whether to sortie or remain in port is largely based on the answer to a single question: Would the vessel in question be better off attempting an evasion at sea or remaining in port? Evasion rationale should include consideration of the following general factors:

* Vessel characteristics
* Berth and anchorage conditions
* Most recent tropical cyclone warning advisory
* Tropical cyclone climatology
* Sheltering or haven qualities

Individual vessel characteristics and berth/anchorage conditions are best determined by those responsible for each vessel and local port authorities. Tropical cyclone warnings are issued by the Naval Pacific Meteorology and Oceanography Center/Joint Typhoon Warning Center Pearl Harbor for Department of Defense assets.

Per COMNAVFORKOREAINST 3140.1, Commander Naval Forces Korea, working with the Naval Pacific Meteorology Center/Joint Typhoon Warning Center Pearl Harbor and USFK will direct the setting of appropriate Conditions of Readiness (CORs) for the CNFK AOR. Messages which contain CORs contain forecasts of maximum winds expected. CORs will be ordered for specific areas such as Area IV Commander Fleet Activities Chinhae as the storm warrants. Local Commanders may order a higher COR at their discretion and will report attainment and termination of each COR placed in effect. CNFK will direct the securing of appropriate CORs for the CNFK AOR.

Tropical Cyclone Conditions of Readiness (TCCOR)
* TCCOR 4 - Destructive winds (sustained winds exceeding 33 kt) are possible within 72 hours.
* TCCOR 3 - Destructive winds are possible within 48 hours.
* TCCOR 2 - Destructive winds are anticipated within 24 hours.
* TCCOR 1- Destructive winds are anticipated within 12 hours.
* TCCOR 1 Caution - Winds 0f 34-49 kt are occurring at a particular installation.
* TCCOR 1 Emergency - Destructive winds are occurring at a particular installation.

* TCCOR Recovery - Used by TCCOR Authority to designate a period of time after the passage of a typhoon when work and survey crews are sent to determine the extent of damage and to establish safe zones around hazards (downed power line, unstable structures, etc.). Until the recovery process is declared completed and either ALL CLEAR or STORM WATCH has been declared by the installation TCCOR Authority, general base population will be asked to remain indoors.
* TCCOR STORM WATCH - Although the destructive winds have subsided, or are currently not forecasted to occur, there is still the possibility of danger due to the proximity of the storm and due to unforecasted changes in storm track and/or strength. Personnel should stay alert, and continue to monitor television and radio announcement. A rapid change to TCCOR conditions to occur.
* TCCOR ALL CLEAR - The storm is over and not forecast to return (may be declared by installation Commanders).

A Broadcasting Service of the Korean Maritime Safety Information (weather, search and rescue, navigational warnings, etc.) is offered at regular times for all vessels navigating along the coastal sea of the Korean Peninsula. This service uses two frequencies from transmitting stations at Jukbyeon (37°03'N 129°26'E) and Byeonsan (35°36'N 126°29'E) for seas east and west of the Korean coastline, respectively. Transmissions cover a range of 200 nmi from each station. English is broadcast on 518 kHz (International Common Frequency) and Korean on 490 kHz. The broadcasting times for English are 0330, 0730, 1130, 1530, 1930, and 2330 UTC. All navigators can receive this information automatically by using a NAVTEX receiver on board.

Long range navigational warnings (NAVAREA navigational warnings) are promulgated according to the World Wide Navigational Warnings Service (WWNWS) System by cooperation between the IHO (International Hydrographic Organization) and the IMO (International Maritime Organization). For Korea broadcasts are made in English and Korean from the following locations:

Jeju-Call Sign HLE, 2,299 kHz, 0902 and 1702 UTC
Gangneung, Call Sign HLK, 2,836 kHz, 0903 UTC
Gunsan, Call Sign HLN, 2,507 kHz, 0403 UTC
Incheon, Call Sign HLC, 2,284, 0003

The Port of Pohang is not considered a typhoon haven. An early sortie is recommended for all ships to proceed completely out of the Port. All of the anchorages may be impacted by strong winds and heavy seas.

The interpretation of tropical cyclone climatology is addressed in the following sections.

Evasion at Sea

Evasion from Port of Pohang is the recommended course of action for all U. S. Navy ships. Reasons for the evasion recommendation include:

(1) Lack of protection from wind in the man-made basin, and possibility that waves may enter the basin.
(2) Exposure of the anchorage to wind and waves.

Per COMNAVFORKOREAINST 3140.1, Commander U.S. Naval Forces Korea as Senior Officer Present Afloat (SOPA) is responsible for preparing and issuing sortie instructions and orders for all ports in Korea. Any Commander may order emergency sortie for units under his operational control. When issuing sortie orders, Commanders shall keep COMSEVENTHFLT, SOPA, and Immediate Superior in Command (ISIC) informed. Additionally commanding officers of individual units should not hesitate to request permission from the SOPA or ISIC to get underway prior to a sortie. Responsibility for the safety of the ship/unit remains squarely on the CO's shoulders, as no other understands the strength and weakness of that particular unit.

For evasion at sea, steaming into the Yellow Sea or the Sea of Japan are the open ocean sortie options available. The choice will depend on the strength and forecast track of the approaching storm and how early in the planning process the sortie decision is made.

If evasion to the Sea of Japan is selected, the commander must be aware that the ship may be placed in the stronger, and therefore more dangerous, semicircle (the right side of the storm with respect to the storm's direction of movement).

Since tropical cyclones tend to increase their speed of movement after recurvature, planners must provide for an early departure in order to clear the area before the storm's circulation arrives. A storm movement in excess of 30 kt is not uncommon while the storm is still in the vicinity of the Tsushima (Korea) Strait, and may further accelerate when the storm reaches the Sea of Japan. The potentially rapid speed of the tropical cyclone may allow it to overtake evading ships unless the sortie is carefully planned and initiated early in the decision process.

The closest typhoon haven is Sasebo, but this would require the ship to transit south into winds and seas as the storm closed in. If the storm was distant enough (CPA to Pohang of 3-4 days), this would be a good haven option. Other haven options include Maizuru to the east and even the Non-Tidal Basin in the Port of Inchon, if time would allow.

Whichever option is chosen, ship captains should remember that tropical cyclones are historically unpredictable, especially in the recurvature phase. The 48-hour forecast position error may exceed 200 nmi. Consequently, the storm may be closer to or farther from Pohang than the forecast indicates, or be right or left of its forecast track.

Commanding officers and ship masters with access to tropical cyclone warnings and advisories coupled with OTSR services are most capable of making the safest and most prudent decision for successful storm evasion and avoidance. In all sortie situations, OTSR services from Naval Pacific Meteorology and Oceanography Center (NPMOC), Pearl Harbor should be requested and utilized. The best sortie route in a specific tropical cyclone scenario is largely dependent on the location of the tropical cyclone and the forecast track. During any tropical cyclone threat there is normally one to three options available to the commanding officer and ship master. Selection of the best option is the objective of all concerned!

In all cases, the timing of the evasion is affected by:

* The time required to make preparations to get underway
* The time required to reach open water and gain sea room
* The forward speed of the tropical cyclone
* The radius of hazardous winds and seas that can adversely impact a vessel's ability to reach open water.

As stated during a Site Visit to nearby Pusan in May 2009, ROKN deep-draft vessels normally sortie to the west out of Pusan and may use the Non-Tidal basin in Inchon.

Remaining in Port

Remaining in port at Pohang during the passage of a tropical cyclone is not recommended. Ships should sortie from the Port at the first indication that a tropical cyclone will at some time enter the 180 nmi threat radius of the port.

Note that dry docks are available for use by fishing boats in the Old Port (Pohangguhang Port) north of the POSCO complex.

In the event of an approaching tropical cyclone, if a ship had to remain in port because of mechanical problems, the best location would be at Pier #1, Berths #2-14.

However, remaining in the Port of Pohang pierside or at anchorage is not the recommended course of action.

Source: http://www.nrlmry.navy.mil/port_studies/thh-nc/korea/pohang/text/the_decision_to_sortie_or_remain_in_port.htm