Coast Guard air crew takes flight to warn mariners of hazardous weather

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – A Coast Guard C-130 aircraft crew from Air Station Elizabeth City is condcuting a search and rescue patrol along the mid-atlantic region notifying mariners Friday of gale conditions and advising mariners not experienced in those conditions to stay in port.

The National Weather Service issued multiple gale warnings from North Carolina to New Jersey for winds in excess of 34 knots extending 20 miles offshore.

The aircraft crew will fly from North Carolina to New Jersey approximately 100 miles offshore transmitting the Urgent Marine Information Broadcast every 15 minutes on VHF-FM channel 16, the marine band radio emergency channel.

The Coast Guard urges mariners to always:

  • Stay Informed – The public should be aware of weather conditions and monitor the progress and strength of the storm through local television, radio and internet. Boaters can monitor progress on VHF channel 16.
  • Check the current and expected weather and water conditions before heading out, and be aware that weather conditions can quickly change.
  • Wear their lifejackets while on the water.
  • File a float plan with friends, family members and their local marina before heading out. The list should include the number of passengers onboard the vessel, their destination and expected time of return.
  • Have a working radio onboard their vessel as cell phone coverage varies from region to region.
  • Carry marine flares onboard their vessel to signal rescuers in distress and emergency situations.
  • Keep a Global Positioning System or Electronic Position Indicating Radio Beacon, EPIRB, so that they may be easier to locate in the event of distress.
  • Secure belongings – Owners of recreational boats are urged to take appropriate precautions to prevent damage to their and others’ vessels.

The warnings and advisories are available on the National Weather Service’s website.

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