Off shore Tropical Storm Hanna can cause near shore hazards

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Even though Tropical Storm Hanna is projected to pass well off-shore of Northeast Florida, the Coast Guard wants the public to know that hazardous boating and swimming conditions will persist throughout the week.

“People see a beautiful sunny day and assume it is safe to go to the beach or off-shore boating,” said Capt. Paul Thomas, Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville commander. “But we have seen a number of distressed boaters and swimmers in the past few days and conditions will only worsen.”

The Coast Guard is warning the public of these important safety messages:

Stay out of the water. The threat of severe rip currents is high along the Florida coast at this time. Beachgoers are urged to use caution and heed all local flags and warnings.

Dont go offshore in small boats. Wave heights are already in excess of six feet and are expected to build. Even specially trained Coast Guard crews must use extreme caution in these conditions. In these conditions there is less time to react before a vessel loses power or otherwise breaks down or swamps in the heavy surf.

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