Coast Guard urges safety as Zeta strengthens

Posted on October 26, 2020 by Staff reports

The Coast Guard strongly cautions the maritime community to remain vigilant to weather forecasts for Tropical Storm Zeta and to take the necessary precautions as this weather system approaches the area.

Tropical Storm Zeta is expected to strengthen into a hurricane and impact the Central Gulf Coast later this week.

Port conditions change based on weather forecasts, and current port conditions can be viewed on the following Coast Guard homeport webpages:

The Coast Guard is reminding the public of these important safety messages:

  • Stay off the water. Hurricanes and tropical storms can be deadly and our ability to conduct rescues can be diminished or non-existent at the height of a storm. Be prepared, stay informed and heed storm warnings.
  • Do not shelter on boats. Mariners are urged not to shelter-in-place on house boats or any other type of vessel. The safest place to be during a tropical storm or hurricane is off the water.
  • Be prepared. Owners of large boats are urged to move their vessels to inland marinas where they will be less vulnerable to breaking free of their moorings or to sustaining damage. Mooring lines should be doubled in case of high winds. Boats that can be trailered should be pulled from the water and stored in a place that is not prone to flooding. Those who are leaving their boats in the water are reminded to remove EPIRBs and to secure life rings, life jackets, and small boats. These items, if not properly secured, can break free and require valuable search and rescue resources to be diverted and may put first responders in harm’s way to ensure people are not in distress.
  • Evacuate as necessary. If mandatory evacuations are set for an area, the public should evacuate without delay. Coast Guard personnel and other emergency responders may not be able to evacuate or rescue those in danger during the storm. 
  • Stay informed. The public should monitor the progress and strength of the storm through local television, radio, and the Internet. Boaters can monitor its progress on VHF radio channel 16. Information can also be obtained on small craft advisories and warnings on VHF radio channel 16.
  • For more information on hurricane preparedness visit Ready.Gov and NOAA websites, as well as following them on Twitter.

Due to the active storm season in the Gulf Coast region, the possibility for debris to resurface during Zeta could pose a danger to mariners. The Coast Guard urges caution and to maintain awareness while transiting.