No port closures anticipated, Coast Guard offers tips for boaters

The U.S. Coast Guard says it does not anticipate closing any harbors due to Ana.

However, officials are keeping an eye on the situation in case the storm takes an ominous turn.

“The projected path is definitely more south than originally expected throughout the whole Hawaiian islands, but we’re still going to see pretty severe sea conditions, including high surf, strong currents and strong waves,” said Coast Guard Petty Officer Melissa McKenzie.

The Coast Guard urges all private boaters to prepare for severe weather conditions.

“We’re still really encouraging mariners to stay out of the water as possible. If you can trailer your boat, we suggest you take it out of the water and put it somewhere safe,” McKenzie said.

If you have to stay on your boat, the coast guard advises you have all the proper emergency and safety equipment on board, such as life jackets, emergency beacons and a radio, and let someone know where you are.

Anyone who has small watercraft like a kayak or paddle board is encouraged to label them with the owner’s name and at least two contact numbers.

That way it will be easier for rescue crews to determine if someone needs to be rescued if their property is found floating out on the water.

Through the Operation Paddle Smart program, the Coast Guard offers a free “If Found” decal to be placed in a visible location on watercraft. The information on the sticker can allow response entities to quickly identify the vessel’s owner and aid in search and rescue planners in determining the best course of action.

The stickers can be obtained for free at local harbormasters, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, from Honolulu Sail and Power Squadron offices, and at select marine retail and supply stores.

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