Report: TOTE to Continue Shipping Ops amid Hurricane Matthew

US shipping company TOTE Maritime is reportedly planning to continue its operations as planned despite warnings about the Hurricane Matthew located near southwestern Haiti in the Caribbean, according to local media.

A vessel belonging to TOTE Maritime was scheduled to depart Jacksonville, Florida, today, while another ship was set to sail from San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The company was cited as saying that the operations on its Jacksonville to Puerto Rico route would not be disturbed, despite the forecasts that the water along the route could get as high as 40 feet.

US National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported that showers and thunderstorms continue in association with a low pressure area located about 500 miles northeast of Puerto Rico.

Satellite wind data indicated that the low is producing winds to gale force, and the system “could become sufficiently well organized to result in the formation of a tropical storm later today” as there was an 80% chance of cyclone formation in the next 48 hours, the NHC informed earlier today.

TOTE Maritime’s vessel Isla Bella, which replaced the ill-fated containership El Faro after it disappeared on the route in October 2015, is scheduled to make another trip to Puerto Rico starting on Friday when Hurricane Matthew is projected to be closest to Florida’s First Coast, local media added.

The announcement comes a year after the company’s roll on, roll off cargo ship El Faro sank off Bermuda on October 1 near the eye of the Hurricane Joaquin, taking all 33 crewmembers with it.

El Faro was en route to San Juan from Jacksonville when it was disabled some 36 nautical miles northeast of Acklins and Crooked Islands, Bahamas, as it lost propulsion.

World Maritime News Staff

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