PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) - The Coast Guard is warning mariners to stay in port because of weather expected Sunday through Monday.
Winds in excess of 40 knots are expected on Sunday with wave heights up to 22 feet.
The Coast Guard will fly its HC-130 Hercules along the coast Saturday to make urgent marine information broadcasts concerning the weather.
"Sending our aircraft out and letting mariners know about the incoming weather is paramount to maintain safety in the maritime environment," said Geoffrey Pagels, a search and rescue specialist at the Coast Guard's 5th District Command Center in Portsmouth.
The Coast Guard urges mariners to do the following:
- Stay Informed - The public should be aware of weather conditions and monitor the progress and strength of the storm through local television, radio and Internet. Boaters can monitor progress on marine-band radio VHF-FM channel 16.
- Check the current and expected conditions before heading out and be aware that weather can quickly change.
- Wear their life jackets while on the water.
- File a float plan with friends, family members and their local marina before heading out. The list should include the number of passengers aboard the vessel, their destination and expected time of return.
- Have a working radio on board their vessel as cell phone coverage varies from region to region.
- Carry marine flares aboard their vessel to signal rescuers in distress and emergency situations.
- Keep a GPS or electronic position indicating radio beacon so that they may be easier to locate in the event of distress.
- Secure belongings - Owners of recreational boats are urged to take appropriate precautions to prevent damage to their and others' vessels.
A company has been hired to complete the repairs to the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge on the Outer Banks, but how long those repairs will take remains unknown.
Drivers traveling between Hatteras Island and the mainland were forced to use an emergency ferry Wednesday, following the sudden closure of the Bonner Bridge Tuesday.
State officials say construction on a new Bonner Bridge has been delayed for years because of a legal battle with an environmental group.