Coast Guard warns boaters as Tropical Storm Karen approaches Florida

Southeastern Coast Guard News
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Coast Guard is encouraging boaters to stay off the water due to Tropical Storm Karen impacting Florida’s Gulf Coast.

The National Weather Service reports high winds, heavy rain and rip tides may affect the areas between Yankeetown and Sarasota. All boaters and beachgoers are strongly encouraged to monitor weather conditions.

TS Karem

Adverse weather effects generated by a tropical storm or hurricane can cover an area hundreds of miles wide. Even 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 and beachgoers should avoid unnecessary risk and use extreme caution if heading out on the water,”  said Lt. Ben Oloughlin, Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg’s command center chief. “Unfavorable weather conditions could limit or delay Coast Guard search and rescue efforts.”

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. Check with local authorities before entering any storm-damaged area.
  • 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.

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