Coast Guard urges mariners to heed warnings, secure boats prior to severe weather

Coast Guard District 9 NewsCLEVELAND – The U.S. Coast Guard is warning mariners to prepare for extreme weather conditions forecasted by the National Weather Service beginning Thursday afternoon and impacting Lake Superior, northern Lake Michigan and northern Lake Huron.

The most extreme forecasts predict wave heights of up to 33 feet and wind gusts up to 60 mph in western Lake Superior, but mariners should expect conditions across the Great Lakes region to be unpredictable and dangerous as this front moves into the area.

Such conditions are dangerous for mariners and rescue professionals. The high winds are also likely to cause moored vessels to break free from moorings if not properly secured.

The Coast Guard urges those who were planning to boat or recreate in the impacted areas to heed warnings issued by the National Weather Service and plan accordingly.

Additionally, the Coast Guard encourages all vessel owners to ensure boats are well secured to avoid hazardous and unnecessary searches caused unmanned, adrift vessels. This includes personal watercraft as well as beached kayaks and canoes. Life jackets, pool floats and other “debris” that could lead rescuers to initiate searches should be securely stowed as well.

Coast Guard search and rescue controllers at Sector Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., and Sector Lake Michigan in Milwaukee, Wisc., will broadcast safety information for recreational and commercial mariners via VHF FM marine radio.

The National Weather Service marine forecast is available HERE.

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