Coast Guard urges marine preparedness during severe weather

1st Coast Guard District News
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – With the approach of severe weather conditions along the Connecticut and Long Island coastlines, Coast Guard officials are urging local mariners to take precautions to ensure their own safety and the safety of their vessels.

“Obviously, being out on the water in blizzard conditions is extremely unsafe,” said Capt. Ed Cubanski, commander of Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound, “but beyond safe boating practices, we are asking mariners to take extra steps to ensure that their vessels remain safe while at the pier.”

With 2-3 feet of snow possible in some areas, mariners should consider steps to minimize the effects of heavy snow accumulations on decks, particularly well decks with little drainage and upper decks, where additional weight may affect stability.

Vessel owners should consider the effects of sustained high winds on their vessels, using additional mooring lines where needed and further securing canvas covers and bimini tops.

“Our men and women respond to all cases where search and rescue could be a factor,” said Cubanski, “including incidents which ultimately turn out to be vessels which have come loose from their moorings. The risk doesn’t change for our crews. Responding to unmanned, adrift vessels is just as dangerous as a verified search and rescue mission.”

The Coast Guard reminds mariners of safe boating practices to prepare for heavy weather, including having a float plan, an operable marine radio and sufficient distress signaling and personal flotation devices.

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