Coast Guard Urges Boaters to Stay Off Water as Noel Approaches

MIAMI – The Coast Guard is urging boaters to stay safe and cautious while boating during the next several days as foul weather associated with Tropical Storm Noel affects the Florida coast.

A small craft advisory is currently in effect and will continue through Thursday. Gale-force winds are expected out of the northeast at approximately 35 knots with nine to 14-foot seas. Inland waterways are expected to be choppy. Conditions are expected to worsen through Wednesday with winds up to 45 knots from the northeast and seas are expected to be up to 19 feet. Inland waterways are expected to be rough.

“People need to remember not to focus on the trackline, but remember the cone,” said Lt. Cmdr. Martin Mueller, chief of environmental response for Coast Guard District Seven. “Based on past experiences Noel could still shift or strengthen so we need to take precautions now.”

The Coast Guard also reminds boaters to secure their vessel before the storm arrives. Boaters should also ensure that any gear above deck be properly stowed and secured. Loose gear or an unsecured boat could appear as a debris field and could trigger an unnecessary search by the Coast Guard.

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