Coast Guard readies for Cristobal, warns mariners

BOSTON – Coast Guard units in New England are pre-staging crews and equipment and warning offshore mariners in anticipation of Tropical Storm Cristobal expected to arrive today and generate wind gusts up to 55 knots and seas around 20 feet.

Coast Guard shore units are broadcasting weather warnings via VHF/FM radio and a Falcon jet crew from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, Mass., is flying offshore and broadcasting the latest weather to mariners at sea.

Although the storm is expected to have the greatest impact offshore, the Coast Guard is urging boat owners to secure their canoes, kayaks and boats both before and after the storm and report as soon as possible to the nearest Coast Guard station if they discover that their boats have broken loose.

“When we get a report of an empty boat drifting, we don’t know if someone is in distress or if a boat just broke free from the dock,” said Rick Arsenault, Coast Guard First District operation controller. “To avoid those false alarms, which take assets away from true distress calls, we ask owners to notify us if they lose a boat and to keep contact information inside their vessels.”

Mariners are encouraged to closely monitor VHF/FM channel 16 for updated storm information.

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