Boaters reminded to use caution during Florida-Georgia weekend

Southeastern Coast Guard NewsJACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville is reminding boaters to stay safe on the water during this Florida vs. Georgia game day weekend.

Using the National Weather Service’s wind projection models, the Coast Guard is urging mariners to be aware of the potential for dangerously high winds and swells off the coast of northeast Fla., and on the St. John’s River.

Winds are expected to reach 27-32 knots on the St. John’s River and offshore seas are to reach about 40 feet, Friday and Saturday.

“The Florida-Georgia football game is an exciting time in Jacksonville, but we want to remind boaters to use added caution this weekend as Hurricane Sandy brings heavy winds and seas,” said Cmdr. Brian Rush, chief of response at Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville. “I’m encouraging mariners to keep their boats tied to the docks this weekend and enjoy the game from land until these high winds and seas pass by.”

Recreational boaters considering a trip downtown for the Florida vs. Georgia football game are reminded to use caution and wear life jackets as wind gusts and river chop can overturn vessels, sometimes without warning.

The Coast Guard is encouraging fishermen to stay closer to shore this weekend to avoid the sizeable seas.

High winds and dangerous sea conditions can limit the Coast Guard’s ability to respond to maritime emergencies.

The public should monitor weather conditions through local television, radio and internet. Boaters can monitor weather on VHF radio channel 16. VHF channel 16 also passes information on small craft advisories and weather warning.

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