Mariners advised to prepare for severe weather throughout Hawaiian Islands

14th Coast Guard District NewsHONOLULU – The Coast Guard is advising all mariners in the Hawaiian Islands to prepare their vessels for severe weather affecting the Hawaiian Islands throughout the weekend.

Indications and models suggest thunderstorms and heavy rain are in store for the islands. A deep upper level trough is forecast to keep the weather unsettled through Saturday, while a strong high pressure system far northwest of the state maintain strong and gusty trades into early next week. All islands will be vulnerable to a line of thunderstorms producing strong winds of 39 mph or greater and possible waterspouts. Mariners can expect gusty winds, higher seas, dangerous lightning and reduced visibility in heavy rain.

“For everyone’s own safety, we ask that boaters heed all warnings and notices regarding this storm.  The storm will produce high winds, heavy rains, and rough seas,” said Cmdr. Steven Wheeler, commander Sector Honolulu’s response department. “The National Weather Service Office in Honolulu has issued a small craft advisory for all waters surrounding the Hawaiian Islands.  We recommend that all small vessels return to port or seek a safe harbor and that mariners begin preparations to secure vessels in port.”

Six known boats have broken away from their moorings within the past week due to severe weather and one boat sank after being struck by lightning Monday.

All mariners, vessel owners and harbor facility operators are encouraged to take steps to ensure vessels and facilities are prepared for the anticipated heavy winds and seas. Suggested measures for vessels in port include: doubling-up, lengthening and adding additional mooring lines, charging batteries to ensure proper operation of automatic bilge pumps, and removing or securing of all loose items that could possibility create projectile hazards. Prior to getting underway, the Coast Guard advises mariners to check weather and sea conditions and all essential safety equipment, including an Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon, a functioning radio and flares prior to getting underway.  The Coast Guard urges boaters to wear their life jackets at all times during heavy weather events.

The Coast Guard also recommends filing a float plan with the harbormaster or a responsible adult prior to departure.  The plan should include the date and time of departure, the estimated date and time of return and the intended destination.  A detailed float plan helps to ensure that search and rescue assets are dispatched in a timely manner when boaters fail to return on schedule.  For more information on float plans and general boating safety, please visit the following website: http://www.uscgboating.org/safety/float_planning.aspx.

Mariners can stay tuned to the latest weather updates from the National Weather Service at their website: http://www.prh.noaa.gov/pr/hnl/.

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