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Coast Guard warns to prepare for storms

Boaters should follow these guidelines to ensure their safety:

Ensure you have a storm anchor. The anchor supplied with a boat is often inadequate for the storms in the Pacific Northwest. An improper or inadequate anchor can cause your boat to drift and may lead to unnecessary search and rescue calls.  If your vessel becomes adrift due to the storm, report it immediately.

Check all of your anchor and mooring lines to verify they are in good condition and double the amount of mooring lines for added strength.

Small boats should be removed from the water and moved to a secure location well above tidal and flood areas and shielded from powerful winds to ensure they are not washed out to sea.

Cover your boat, heavy rains can flood boats and even cause sinking in extreme cases. Protect your boat and be sure your vessel is adequately covered when it is moored to prevent flooding. If you can’t bring your boat onto shore, make sure it is securely fastened to its dock. Vessels that break free from their moorings can become a hazard to navigation, trigger unnecessary and costly search and rescue missions and endanger the lives of those who must retrieve them.

Ensure boat registration numbers are updated with correct owner information. Consider keeping owner contact information visible within the vessel. With this information, agencies responding to vessels adrift can promptly return the vessel to its owner.

Wear personal floatation devices and have one for each person aboard. History has shown the chances of survival greatly increase if an individual is wearing a personal floatation device. For more information on life jacket requirements visit:
http://www.uscgboating.org/safety/life_jacket_wear_wearing_your_life_jacket.aspx

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