Coast Guard issues warning to boaters

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The high surf advisory and dangerous rip current conditions are making conditions dangerous for boaters.

The U.S. Coast Guard is warning boaters to monitor weather conditions before deciding to head out to sea.

Hurricane Earl is creating an increased risk of dangerous rip currents, high surf and rough seas.  

The Coast Guard stresses that even though the storm is hundreds of miles away, it can create an area of adverse weather effects hundreds of miles wide.

The Coast Guard reminds boaters to wear life jackets and to file a float plan with a family member or friend. They also recommend that boaters have a working VHF radio, signaling devices and an emergency position-indicating radio beacon (EPIRB). 

Boating safety tips from the Coast Guard:

• Avoid recreational boating if a tropical storm is approaching.
 • Seek advice from local marinas on securing your vessel. 
 • Take immediate action. Effects from a tropical storm can happen well in advance of the storm itself and can hamper safety prep.
 • Check with local authorities before entering areas damaged by storms. Do not rush to your boat.
 • Do not try to reach your boat if it has been forced into the water and is surrounded by debris. Wait until authorities have made it safes accessible. Do not try to board a partially sunken boat; get professional salvage assistance.
 • Storms move quickly and can be unpredictable.

Copyright 2010 WTOC. All rights reserved.