Coast Guard encourages boaters to secure vessels, gear for high winds

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CHARLESTON, S.C. — The Coast Guard is advising mariners to prepare their vessels for incoming high winds Monday in advance of the arctic blast currently crossing the country.

The National Weather Service is predicting a hazardous weather outlook for the Charleston area.

Western winds between 25 and 30 mph with 40 mph gusts are expected. Gale warnings are also predicted for the coastal and offshore areas. Seas are predicted to rise between 5 and 7 feet Monday night.

In anticipation of the weather, the Coast Guard advises mariners to ensure their vessels are properly tied down along their piers and moorings. Secondary mooring lines may be necessary. Mariners are also advised to ensure any loose items, such as life jackets, be put below decks or indoors. In the past, objects in the water have been misidentified as persons in the water, resulting in unnecessary search and rescue operations by the Coast Guard.

Vessels that break free and drift unattended also pose a potential risk of pollution.

Swimmers are also advised to avoid activities in the water due to the dropping temperatures and rising seas.

For more information on the weather system, visit: http://Forecast.weather.gov.

– See more at: http://www.uscgnews.com/go/doc/4007/2062834/Coast-Guard-encourages-boaters-to-secure-vessels-gear-for-high-winds#sthash.7o85yUzm.dpuf

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