Mariners strongly urged to prepare now for Tropical Strom Hanna

MIAMI – As Tropical Storm Hanna approaches South Florida, the Coast Guard urges mariners and recreational boaters to prepare now. Boaters are urged to move boats from the projected path of the storm to ensure their safety and the safety of their vessels. Both recreational and professional mariners should be aware of measures that may and are likely to be taken by the Coast Guard before the arrival of Tropical Storm Hanna.

Bridges:

Draw bridges will be closed and locked in the down position within eight hours prior to the arrival of gale-force winds.

Closed: A bridge closure means the bridge will remain in the down position unless there is an emergency situation, such as a vessel removing hazardous cargo away from an area the storm is anticipated to affect.

Locked: Once a bridge is locked, it will not reopen until bridge crews are able to return after the storm passes. Crews may not be able to immediately return to a bridge or may not be able to reopen it depending on available access to the bride, damage to the area and power outages.

Port Status:

Effective 8 a.m. Tuesday, a 72-hour alert has been issued for Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the Port of Palm Beach, Fla., and the Port of Fort Pierce, Fla.

At this time, waterfront facilities should be removing potential flying debris, hazardous materials and pollutants from dockside areas. The Coast Guard Captain of the Port may require additional precautions to ensure the safety of the port and waterways.

Beachgoers:

Beachgoers are reminded to heed beach warning flags and to swim with extreme caution when hazardous surf conditions are present.

Vessels in the storm:

Assistance from the Coast Guard and other rescue crews and agencies may be severely degraded or unavailable immediately before, during and after the storm. Boaters are strongly urged not to, “ride out,” a tropical depression, tropical storm or hurricane at sea. If unable to avoid the storm, mariners should ensure they are wearing their life jackets and know how to activate distress signaling devices at all times.

After a storm:

Navigational aids may be moved or destroyed by severe weather. Mariners should not completely rely on the position of aids until Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Teams and cutters are able to verify, repair and reposition them. All methods for determining a navigational aids position should be employed following a storm.

Mariners should check with local authorities before entering a storm damaged area and should be alert for debris or pollution in the water while transiting storm-affected areas. Mariners are urged to report any sightings of such to the Coast Guard or other local emergency agencies.

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