Coast Guard Urges Mariners to Monitor Tropical Storm

Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Coast Guard personnel along the mid-Atlantic coast are strongly urging all mariners to closely monitor Tropical Storm Beryl as it is expected to make its way north over the next few days. According to current weather predictions, Beryl is expected to continue on a northerly track, paralleling the East Coast over the next 24-36 hours. This path will minimize the impacts on the Mid-Atlantic coast. Look for increased surf and a threat of rip currents from North Carolina northward to New Jersey. With Beryl's center remaining well off the coast, rain and wind should not be a factor. By Friday, Beryl will be making a northeastward turn, but could bring some rain and gusty winds to southeastern New England. Mariners are reminded that drawbridges along the coast may deviate from normal operating procedures prior to a storm. They are generally authorized to remain closed up to eight hours prior to the approach of gale force winds of 34 knots or greater, and whenever an evacuation is ordered. Because of the uncertainty of weather movements and related bridge closures, mariners should seek early passage through drawbridges well in advance of the arrival of gale force winds. When in doubt, check with the local Coast Guard marine safety office. Should a storm or hurricane approach, mariners should take necessary precautions to ensure their personal safety. Extremely high seas, heavy rains and damaging winds that accompany tropical storms and hurricanes present serious dangers to mariners. If mariners are unable to evade a storm, they are advised to wear their lifejacket and know how to activate their distress signaling devices. Although Coast Guard rescue crews are already on heightened alert and are standing by ready to assist, their availability could be significantly degraded or even unavailable immediately before, during or after a storm.

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