Coast Guard Urges Safety During Holiday Storms

coast guard02BOSTON – The Coast Guard is urging mariners and the coastal community to take precautions in preparation of two storms expected to impact the Northeast Wednesday and Thursday.

The National Weather Service has issued a coastal flood advisory in anticipation of storm surges and locally heavy rainfall. The pair of storms are expected to bring elevated sea-state and wind gusts up to 30 knots.

Because of higher-than-normal tides, owners of small boats, kayaks and other paddle craft are urged to properly secure them.

“Usually after these kind of storms pass, we get many calls about adrift boats,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Shelton Schafer, the operations unit coordinator at the 1st Coast Guard District Command Center in Boston. “We divert a large amount of time, assets, and crews to search for what most times ends up being unmanned vessels that were swept out to sea during the storm.”

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He also recommended that mariners inspect mooring lines on larger boats to ensure they are secure.

If mariners plan to get underway, they are urged to have adequate life jackets aboard and a way to contact the Coast Guard if an emergency arises.

Additionally, regardless of the size or type of craft, the Coast Guard advises all boaters to file a float plan, telling someone where they are going and when they plan to return.