PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard is notifying mariners Friday of forecasted gale conditions in the mid-Atlantic region Sunday through Monday and advising mariners not experienced in those conditions to stay in port.
The National Weather Service issued multiple gale warnings for winds in excess of 40 knots and wave heights up to 22 feet.
An HC-130 Hercules crew is scheduled to fly along the east coast Saturday making urgent marine information broadcasts about the expected weather.
“Sending our aircraft out and letting mariners know about the incoming weather is paramount to maintain safety in the maritime environment,” said Geoffrey Pagels, a search and rescue specialist at the Coast Guard’s 5th District Command Center in Portsmouth.
The Coast Guard urges mariners to always:
- Stay Informed – The public should be aware of weather conditions and monitor the progress and strength of the storm through local television, radio and Internet. Boaters can monitor progress on marine-band radio VHF-FM channel 16.
- Check the current and expected conditions before heading out and be aware that weather can quickly change.
- Wear their life jackets while on the water.
- File a float plan with friends, family members and their local marina before heading out. The list should include the number of passengers aboard the vessel, their destination and expected time of return.
- Have a working radio on board their vessel as cell phone coverage varies from region to region.
- Carry marine flares aboard their vessel to signal rescuers in distress and emergency situations.
- Keep a GPS or electronic position indicating radio beacon so that they may be easier to locate in the event of distress.
- Secure belongings – Owners of recreational boats are urged to take appropriate precautions to prevent damage to their and others’ vessels.
The warnings and advisories are available on the National Weather Service’s website.