Coast Guard warns mariners from NC to NJ of upcoming heavy weather

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – The Coast Guard urges boaters to be cautious and stay in port from North Carolina to New Jersey Tuesday through Wednesday due to a gale-force wind warning from the National Weather Service.

The NWS forecasts wind speeds of 20-50 knots and 5-22 foot seas, heavy rain and snow as the weather system passes through the area.

Coast Guard sectors are monitoring the weather conditions in their areas and units will remain operational and response-ready.

The Coast Guard urges mariners to always wear life jackets while on the water and have a working radio onboard their vessel as cell phone coverage varies from region to region.

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.

File a float plan with friends, family members and their local marina before heading out. This should include the number of passengers aboard the vessel, destination and expected time of return.

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

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

“If it’s necessary to get underway for any reason, boaters should be mindful of the approaching weather and the capabilities of their boats to handle it,” said Dennis Sens, the 5th Coast Guard District’s boating safety specialist. “Also, boaters with small craft should seek safe moorings, double up lines, put out extra fenders and secure items topside as needed to ensure their boats are protected.”

For more detailed information about the warning and for updated weather forecasts, visit www.weather.gov

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