Coast Guard reminds people to stay off the water after Hurricane Irene

5th Coast Guard District NewsPHILADELPHIA — The Coast Guard is urging residents and mariners to stay clear of beaches and stay off the water after Hurricane Irene, here Sunday.

All Coast Guard small boat stations secured operations in anticipation of the hurricane and are still surveying their capabilities. As a result, they will have minimal search and rescue capabilities until they can get their resources established.

Even the best swimmers can fall victim to the strong waves and rip currents caused by storms. Swimmers are urged to stay clear of beaches until local officials say the water is safe. Rip currents and undertows can drag swimmers away from their boat or the beach and lead to death by drowning when they attempt to fight the current and become exhausted.

“Even with the hurricane’s passing the ocean and rivers are still very dangerous,” said Capt. Meredith Austin, the Captain of the Port of Philadelphia. “We urge people to stay off the water until the waves and rip currents are no longer feeling the effects of the hurricane which might be several days from now.”

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