Coast Guard warns residents in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to be cautious of Tropical Storm Matthew

300-tropical_storm_matthewSAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The U.S. Coast Guard remains vigilant Wednesday in anticipation to Tropical Storm Matthew’s passing south of the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico Thursday and Friday.

“Mariners, boaters, swimmers, and the general public should make preparations and monitor official weather updates and any active small craft advisories as this tropical storm moves through the area,” said Capt. Robert Warren, Coast Guard Sector San Juan commander and Captain of the Port San Juan.  “We will continue to monitor the winds and sea conditions in our area of responsibility.”

As Tropical Storm Matthew approaches, swimmers, recreational boaters and the general public should exercise caution and stay away from shoreline rocks and other potentially dangerous coastal area until weather and surf conditions normalize.  There are small craft advisories in effect for much of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands from 2p.m. Wednesday through Friday evening as well as an anticipated increase in rip currents throughout the area:

The Coast Guard requests that the public not call Coast Guard facilities for weather information, but that they listen to weather broadcasts and track internet updates through:; 

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 bad weather is approaching and pay close attention to any official and active small craft advisories.

• At the first sign of heavy weather seek shelter. While en route, secure boat and prepare passengers for possible rough water, heavy rains and high winds: have all aboard put on life jackets.

• Boaters and coastal residents can get storm and hurricane information from VHF marine radios, commercial radio and television stations and newspapers, or NOAA weather radios

• 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 tropical storm can be felt well in advance of its arrival and can prevent the safe completion of preparations.

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