Coast Guard urges Florida mariners to exercise caution due to inclement weather

MIAMI – The Coast Guard is urging boaters to exercise caution due to heavy weather including severe thunderstorms, with winds in excess of 30 mph across Florida.

Small craft are currently advised to exercise caution and a small craft advisory is in effect as seas are expected to be around 8 feet with wind gusts up to 30 mph.

A small craft advisory is issued by the National Weather Service when seas are expected to be greater than seven feet and sustained winds are between 20 and 33 knots for more than two hours.

The primary threat is expected to be damaging winds and a possible risk for tornados.

Mariners are advised to check the condition of their vessel’s mooring lines, stow lose gear, ensure freeing ports are not obstructed, and verify operation of the vessel’s automatic bilge pumps.

Any gear above deck should be properly stowed and secured. Loose gear or an unsecured boat could appear as a debris field and could trigger an unnecessary search by the Coast Guard.

A large amount of boaters are taking to the sea due to the unseasonably warm weather in South Florida. The Coast Guard urges boaters to be mindful of the unpredictability of the weather and to monitor local news and weather forecasts for any updates.

“Our primary concern is the safety of life at sea,” said Coast Guard Capt. Scott Buschman, chief of staff at the Seventh Coast Guard District. “Although the safest thing to do when adverse weather conditions are forecasted is to stay off the water, boaters must at least be cautious and prepared if they do decide to venture out to sea during foul weather.”

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