Northeast Coast Guard units prepare for nor’easter, warn of dangerous marine conditions

Petty Officers Hayden Hunt and Derek Berkley, from Coast Guard Sector Boston, conduct a pre-storm assessment Monday, March 12, 2018. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

BOSTON — The Coast Guard is conducting pre-storm assessments Monday and advising mariners and the public along the coasts of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, the Cape and Islands to exercise caution Monday night through Tuesday as a winter storm is forecast in our area.

Conditions are expected to deteriorate Monday night, with a potential for 12 to 17+ inches of snow for much of southern New England, with significant reductions in visibility possible.

Operation for any craft in the maritime environment will be dangerous, as there is high marine impact expected with 45 to 60 knot wind gusts and 20+ foot seas on Tuesday.

Pre-storm assessment teams from Coast Guard Sectors Boston and Southeastern New England visited and contacted local marinas and facilities to ensure storm preparations were in place, and assessed shorelines to identify any risks to the maritime environment, such as unsecured vessels, paddle craft, or marine debris.

Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod air crews are flying storm tracks ahead of the storm to warn mariners of the impending heavy weather.

Coast Guard Cutter Spencer, a 270-foot cutter homeported in Boston, will stage off the coast to respond to offshore search and rescue emergencies.

Due to the expected extreme conditions, some Coast Guard assets may have limited ability to respond to vessels in distress. Therefore, waterfront operators, mariners, fishing vessels, recreational boaters, and the general public should exercise extreme caution as conditions begin to deteriorate.

All boaters, and those living along coastal communities, are urged to secure their small craft, including canoes, kayaks, and paddle craft, due to the expected high winds and heavy seas. Unmanned, adrift craft often result in complex, unnecessary searches thereby reducing the Coast Guard’s capability to respond to actual distress at sea. Also, please clearly mark all paddle craft with owner’s name and contact information.

For additional information on the storm, visit the National Weather Service: http://www.weather.gov/box/

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