Coast Guard cautions mariners to keep an eye on approaching weather system

Cutters from throughout the Fifth Coast Guard District are gathered at Coast Guard Base Portsmouth, Va., to participate in a cutter roundup Tuesday, August 22, 2017. The cutter roundup provides joint training opportunities for the crews. (U. S. Coast Guard photograph by Auxiliarist Trey Clifton/Released).

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — U.S. Coast Guard officials are asking mariners to keep an eye on a system that is expected to being high winds to the region.

A weather system developing to the west of Virginia could move into the area by Friday. Rain is expected from the system, along with a few thunderstorms.

Meteorologist Jeremy Wheeler says the wind will kick in once the system moves offshore. There is chance for winds of the west and northwest for “a pretty long period of time” Friday into Saturday — with gusts up to 50 mph or higher near the shore.

The Coast Guard offered tips this week for marines to protect themselves, their families and their boats in a case of potentially rough seas:

  • Secure electronic position indicating radio beacons. If unsecured, an EPIRB can break free from a boat and trigger an emergency signal to the Coast Guard.
  • Do not go out to sea in a recreational boat when a storm is approaching.
  • Contact local marinas to ask for advice about securing a vessel.
  • Ensure boating gear is properly stowed or tied down to avoid causing unnecessary searches by the Coast Guard and other first responders. Life jackets, life rafts and small non-powered vessels are some examples of boating equipment often found adrift following severe weather.

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