Coast Guard warns of today’s nearshore wave conditions around Chicago

Great Lakes Coast Guard NewsCHICAGO — The U.S. Coast Guard in Chicago is alerting boaters, especially those in small crafts, to be aware of nearshore wave conditions Friday.

Anyone planning to get underway to watch practice sessions for this weekend’s Air and Water Show can expect waves in the range of 2-4 feet.

Although yesterday’s weather system has passed bringing sunny skies and moderate temperatures, the Coast Guard warns boaters not to be fooled. Moderate wave conditions persist which are causing white caps and seas to crash over area breakwalls.

The Coast Guard is also reminding boaters to remember these safety tips this weekend, and year round, to ensure a safe and enjoyable outing:

  • do not operate your boat or vessel while intoxicated;
  • be sure that everyone wears a life jacket and that it fits properly. In times of emergency, every second counts. Chances are, you won’t have time to look for and don your life jacket in times of emergencies. Also, be sure you have a life jacket for every passenger on board. Children under the age of 13 must wear a life jacket while on the deck of the boat at all times;
  • ensure all of your communications equipment and and emergency equipment is operable;
  • purchase and carry an emergency position-indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) on board in the event of an emergency;
  • carry a GPS unit on board or, at a minimum, maintain knowledge of local waters;
  • have a properly working VHF-radio with Channel 16 capabilities;
  • know your location at all times to help expedite the Coast Guard’s response in an emergency;
  • tell a family member or friend your travel plans so that if you become overdue, someone can alert authorities; and
  • be aware of changing weather patterns and listen to weather updates. Don’t get caught unprepared. Unpredictable storms can produce highs winds and heavy seas.


The Coast Guard is also reminding boaters about security zones that are in place around military vessels in town this weekend for the Air and Water Show and events commemorating the bicentennial of the War of 1812. All boaters are required to remain at least 100 years away from military vessels. In addition, all vessels within 500 yards of military vessels are required to observe a no wake speed.

 

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