Coast Guard warns of severe weekend weather



SOUTH PORTLAND — Tropical Storm Hermine is expected to continue along a northeastern path and impact New England waters over Labor Day weekend. Coast Guard officials are urging mariners to exercise caution and make preparations in advance of heavy weather.

The effects of Tropical Storm Hermine may generate heavy seas, increased winds, low visibility and rip currents that are hazardous to anyone on the water this weekend.

“This storm should catch no one by surprise. We have time to prepare,” said Lit. Scott McCann, command center chief at Coast Guard Sector Northern New England. “All mariners should secure their boats and boating equipment. Smaller vessels and paddle craft should be pulled from the water, stored in a protected place, and labeled with contact information.”

Authorities urge boaters to follow these best practices to ensure a safe weekend on the water.

  • Stay Informed – Check the currents and expected weather and water conditions before heading out, and be aware that weather conditions can quickly change.
  • Wear life jackets while on the water.
  • File a float plan to include details about your trip at http://www.safeboatingcouncil.org
  • Have multiple means of communication, especially a VHF radio. Other means include cell phones (with full battery and a charger), satellite phones, emergency position indication radio beacons (EPIRBs), and personal locator beacons (PLBs).
  • Ensure bilge pumps are operational even if the vessel is moored.

Visitors to Maine and New Hampshire should heed all warnings from lifeguards and public safety officials. Although weather conditions may be good, rip tides and high surf may impact beaches far in advance of the actual storm. Even the best swimmers can fall victim to the strong waves and currents caused by storms.

For additional information on other boating safety resources please visit www.uscgboating.org.

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