Coast Guard readies for Hurricane Jose, cautions mariners

BOSTON — Coast Guard units across the Northeast are accelerating preparations Monday ahead of forecasted tropical storm conditions expected to arrive in our area late Tuesday into Wednesday.

Forecasted marine and coastal effects, including 34-63 knot winds and 20-30 foot seas, could pose life threatening conditions for mariners.

Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod crews are flying storm tracks and using marine radios to warn offshore boaters of the approaching heavy weather and recommending they seek safe haven.

Coast Guard Sectors and Stations across southern New England will maintain response-ready for near-shore search and rescue. The 270-foot Coast Guard Cutter Harriet Lane and 225-foot Coast Guard Cutter Oak crews are preparing to stage in protected waters for offshore response.

“We understand the sea is a livelihood for many people – but this is one of those few times when we urge everyone, commercial and recreational boaters, to stay off the water,” said Captain Richard Schultz, commander of Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England.

Additionally, he said all boaters and those living along coastal communities are urged to secure their small craft and paddle craft, including canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards, due to the expected high winds, heavy seas, and storm surge. If drifting and unmanned, they could set off unnecessary searches and tie-up vital search and rescue resources.

The Coast Guard is warning the public of these important safety messages:

  • Secure belongings: Owners of large boats are urged to move their vessels to inland marinas where they will be less vulnerable to breaking free of their moorings or to sustaining damage. Trailer-able boats should be pulled from the water and stored in a place that is not prone to flooding. Those who are leaving their boats in the water are reminded to remove EPIRBs and to secure life rings, lifejackets and small boats. These items, if not properly secured, can break free and require valuable search and rescue resources be diverted to ensure people are not in distress.
  • Stay clear of beaches: Wave heights and currents typically increase before a storm makes landfall. Even the best swimmers can fall victim to the strong waves and rip currents caused by hurricanes. Swimmers should stay clear of beaches until local lifeguards and law enforcement officials say the water is safe.
  • Be prepared: Area residents should be prepared by developing a family plan, creating a disaster supply kit, having a place to go, securing their home and having a plan for pets. Information can be found at the National Hurricane Center’s webpage.
  • Stay informed: The public should monitor the progress and strength of the storm through local television, radio and Internet. Boaters can monitor its progress on VHF radio channel 16. Information can also be obtained on small craft advisories and warnings on VHF radio channel 16.

Information on how to prepare your boat or trailer for a hurricane can be found at the Coast Guard Storm Center webpage.

For information on Hurricane Jose progress and hurricane preparedness, please visit the National Hurricane Center‘s webpage.

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