MIAMI – The Coast Guard is encouraging boaters Thursday to prepare for severe weather due to a developing tropical wave, Invest 99L, which is expected to impact South Florida at the beginning of the weekend.
The National Hurricane Center reports the disturbance is favorable for tropical development, resulting in a minimum of heavy rains and gusty winds. All boaters and beachgoers are strongly encouraged to monitor weather conditions as the depression is expected to develop into Tropical Storm Hermine.
Adverse weather effects generated by a tropical storm or hurricane can cover an area hundreds of miles wide. Additionally, recreational boaters and commercial vessels outside of the direct path of the storm are advised to be aware of weather conditions and take appropriate precautions to stay safe.
“Mariners should avoid unnecessary risk and use extreme caution if heading out on the water,” said Capt. Megan Dean, Coast Guard Sector Miami Commander. “Remember to remove your EPIRB from your vessel if the vessel will not be in use. EPRIBs left aboard vessels, with no one aboard, often get activated and result in a false alert. False alerts can cause a delay in Coast Guard search and rescue operations.”
Here are a few tips to help mariners protect themselves, their families and their vessels:
- Do not go out to sea in a recreational boat if you know a storm is approaching.
- Contact local marinas to ask for advice about securing your vessel.
- Marina operators are knowledgeable and can advise you on the best methods for securing your boat.
- Take action now. The effects of a storm can be felt well in advance, and bridge schedules can and often shift from their normal operating schedule. Check with local authorities before entering any storm-damaged area.
- When removing your EPIRB from your vessel, ensure it does not inadvertently activate which could signal a false alert. Furthermore, once the severe weather has passed, mariners are reminded to ensure the EPIRB devices are placed back on their vessels prior to the vessel’s next use.
- Do not rush to your boat. Boaters should not place themselves in danger to get to a boat.
- Do not try to board a partially sunken boat. Seek salvage assistance from a professional. Storms move quickly and are unpredictable.