Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay prepares for severe weather

PHILADELPHIA- Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay personnel are preparing Wednesday for forecasted high winds and heavy seas here.

Port partners, local and state agencies have been contacted and informed of the impending weather conditions. Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., has conducted two search and rescue patrols along the coast from New Jersey to South Carolina transmitting Safety Marine Information Broadcasts to notify mariners.

Coast Guard aircraft and crews have been moved to safe and secure locations to ensure rapid response when needed. Small boats have been secured and cutters placed on stand-by and are ready to respond. Units remain operational and continue to monitor hailing and distress radio frequencies.

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 its 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 life jackets 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 aboard the vessel, their destination and expected time of return.

* Always have a working radio onboard their vessel as cell phone coverage varies from region to region.

* Carry marine flares aboard their vessel to signal rescuers while in distress and emergency situations.

* Keep a Global Positioning System or Electronic Position Indicating Radio Beacon so that they may be easier to locate in the event of distress.

* Secure your belongings – Owners of recreational boats are urged to take appropriate precautions to prevent damage to their boats and others.

For maritime emergencies contact Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay in Philadelphia at (215) 271-4807.

Marine Safety Information Broadcasts can be found at Homeport.uscg.mil by clicking here.

Weather information is available through the National Weather Service at www.NWS.noaa.gov

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