Coast Guard warns of forecasted heavy weather along Texas coast

A 47-foot Motor Life Boat train during a period of heavy weather near the pier heads on Lake Michigan, (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Charles Dewitt)

U.S. Coast Guard File Photo

HOUSTON — The Coast Guard urges mariners to remain cautious, be aware of changing weather conditions and limit on-water activity due to heavy weather forecasts calling for hazardous seas and strong winds this week along the southeast Texas coast.

With winds to exceed 25 mph, boaters should check local weather and exercise extreme caution if planning to be out on the water.

Here are some tips mariners should employ if planning to go on the water:

  • Always check weather and tide before going out on the water. Have a plan in the event of inclement weather.
  • All boaters should have and make use of life jackets. There should be enough life jackets on board for everyone.
  • Boaters should have a VHF marine radio and keep a listening watch on channel 16. Channel 16 allows boaters to hear important information such as weather warnings, navigational warnings and the distress calls of their fellow boaters.
  • Having the radio turned on and set to channel 16 also enables boaters to call immediately for help if in distress.
  • Label your personal recreational vessels such as kayaks or canoes with contact information. Labels with contact information will help the Coast Guard distinguish between a missing persons case or a vessel that floated away.
  • Make sure your vessels and paddle vessels are properly moored and tied off.
  • All boaters, including paddlers, who operate on the open Gulf or on big bodies of water should have an emergency ditch kit with safety, signaling and survival equipment that they can use if they become stranded at sea or on a remote shoreline.
  • Make a float plan. Provide a reliable friend or family member with pertinent information about your voyage and a description or picture of your vessel.

The following weather and marine hazards have been predicted for the area:

  • Moderate-strong offshore winds and elevated seas and a potential for low water conditions in the bays Tuesday and Wednesday around times of low tide.
  • Moderate northeast winds and elevated seas Wednesday night into Thursday.
  • Strong 25-35 mph east and northeast winds set up as a coastal trough develops off the lower Texas coast, with seas 8-10 feet, rising tide levels and increasing storm threats offshore Friday through Sunday.

For more detailed and up-to-date information on the predicted heavy weather, visit the National Weather Service Office of Houston/Galveston website.

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