Weather prompts Coast Guard to heighten readiness capabilities

BOSTON – The Coast Guard is increasing readiness capabilities and warning mariners of the potential for icing due to sub-freezing temperatures, rough seas and high winds expected in the northern Gulf of Maine Saturday evening and Sunday.

“We ask that mariners take extra precautions to avoid topside icing and have an understanding of its effect on vessel stability,” said Rick Arsenault of the First District Command Center.

Icing occurs when rain or ocean spray freezes above a vessel’s waterline, causing the center of gravity to rise rapidly, making the vessel more susceptible to capsizing. Additionally, the added weight reduces the space between the waterline and the edge of the deck, causing the deck to become easily submerged, especially in rough seas.

National Weather Service predictions in the Gulf of Maine over the weekend call for 10-19 degree air temperatures, winds that may reach 45 knots and seas that may exceed 15 feet.

The 110-foot Coast Guard Cutter Grand Isle, from Gloucester, Mass., and the 270-foot Coast Guard Cutter Campbell, from Kittery, Maine, will be underway off the coast of New England ready to respond at a moment’s notice.

Additionally, a Falcon jet from Air Station Cape Cod is flying over the Gulf throughout the day today to broadcast weather and safety messages to mariners at sea.

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