The Coast Guard is warning mariners and the public Tuesday to exercise caution along the coasts of Rhode Island and Massachusetts Wednesday into Thursday as a winter storm is forecast in our area.
Conditions are expected to deteriorate Wednesday night, with hazardous wind and sea conditions throughout Southern New England waters.
The operation of any craft in the maritime environment will be dangerous, as there is high marine impact expected with 50-knot wind gusts and 20+ foot seas Wednesday into Thursday.
Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod aircrews are flying storm tracks ahead of the storm to warn mariners of the impending heavy weather.
Coast Guard Cutter Spencer, a 270-foot cutter homeported in Boston, will stage off the coast to respond to offshore search and rescue emergencies.
Due to the expected extreme conditions, some Coast Guard assets may have limited ability to respond to vessels in distress. Therefore, waterfront operators, mariners, fishing vessels, recreational boaters, and the general public should exercise extreme caution as conditions begin to deteriorate.
Mariners and recreational boaters are warned to take the following precautions to protect their vessels and their crews:
- If a storm is approaching, do not go out to sea.
- Double-check lines when securing your boat. Take precautions for items stored loosely aboard.
- Please secure all paddle craft and ensure they are not located in or near the tidal surge zone.
- Contact local marinas for advice on how best to secure your vessel.
- If you must get underway, create a float plan and send it to your friends and families before getting underway. Ensure that you have the proper signaling devices onboard your vessel and the correct amount of life jackets onboard.
- Personal watercraft and paddle craft users are advised to stay off the water due to extremely hazardous sea conditions. Also, swimmers, surfers, and windsurfers are strongly urged to stay out of the water during this period of heavy weather.
- Always wear a proper life jacket when on a boat or personal watercraft.
For additional information on the storm, visit the National Weather Service: http://www.weather.gov/box/