Coast Guard advises boaters in the Charleston and Savannah areas to exercise caution during high winds, secure vessels, gear

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CHARLESTON, S.C.  – The Coast Guard is urging the maritime community to exercise caution on the water and take measures to secure vessels and equipment during the next 72 hours.

A National Weather Service forecast predicts severe weather for the Charleston and Savannah, Ga., areas through Wednesday afternoon.

The approaching storm system is predicted to bring winds between 15-25 mph along with possible thunderstorms in Charleston Tuesday afternoon. Winds in Savannah are predicted to be between 15-20 mph with gusts up to 35 mph after midnight and five to seven-foot seas. Thunderstorms are also predicted for the Savannah area Tuesday night.

The Coast Guard is advising mariners to ensure their vessels are properly secured to their moorings. Secondary mooring lines are also suggested as an extra precaution. Boaters may contact local marinas and harbor masters to ask for advice about properly securing their vessels for the upcoming weather.

Boaters are also urged to secure or put away any loose equipment, such as life jackets, paddles, ring buoys or other objects that could be easily picked up by the winds. Reports of unattended boats or equipment adrift can result in missing person reports, creating unnecessary searches by the Coast Guard for people in distress.

Swimmers are also advised to stay clear of beaches until local officials determine the water to be safe due to the development of strong rip currents.

For the marine forecast, visit the National Weather Service website at: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/jax/text.php?pil=CWF&sid=CHS&version=0.

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