Guam – Coast Guard Sector Guam is warning boaters and beach goers to exercise caution in all waters across Micronesia through the weekend. The National Weather Service has issued a high surf and small craft advisory for all coastal waters surrounding Guam, Rota, Tinian, and Saipan.
Beginning today, surf is predicted to build 10 feet or greater in Guam, Rota, Tinian and Saipan. Areas around east facing reefs will be especially hazardous with seas expected to build up to 13 feet through Friday.
A Small Craft Advisory is also in effect for all the islands until Friday. Seas are anticipated to remain above 10 feet and winds are expected to remain in excess of 20-25 knots creating waves along affected reefs higher than normal, making it exceptionally dangerous for small vessels and swimmers. The National Weather Service recommends mariners operating small vessels should avoid operating in these conditions.
Mariners should only travel if necessary and check the current and forecasted weather conditions prior to getting underway. These conditions are especially hazardous when entering or leaving harbors and near inlets and reef lines. Mariners should remain aware of changing conditions once on the water. Coast Guard Sector Guam advises mariners: if in doubt, don’t go out!
Boaters are strongly encouraged to have a VHF marine radio on board to monitor weather conditions, communicate with other mariners and call for help in the event of an emergency. The Coast Guard reminds all mariners that channel 16 is the emergency channel and is monitored around-the-clock.
In addition, marinas and local boaters are reminded to check that boats in port are properly secured, bilge pumps are functional, and all loose items are removed from decks. Report any boats adrift, pollution or other maritime emergencies to the Coast Guard Sector Guam Command Center at 671-564-USCG.
Before you take to the water, Coast Sector Guam advises mariners to consider the following:
* Leave a float plan with a responsible individual who knows your intentions, location and who they should call if you do not return as scheduled.
* Always have flares and other visual distress signals on board. Inspect them regularly; they can save your life and help rescuers find you at night should you be in distress.
* Wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket and set the example for your passengers or paddling partners. Before getting underway, verify you have enough life jackets for everyone on board.
* Maintain awareness on the water — be aware of activity around your vessel including changing weather, and always know your location.
* Don’t boat alone — boating alone is not recommended. Recreational paddlers canoeists and kayakers often travel with a single craft and one partner, or even solo, but it is recommended you canoe, kayak or boat with at least three people or two craft.
* Kayakers and paddlers are highly encouraged to use the Paddle Smart Identification Sticker. In situations where a craft is found without its paddler, this sticker permits the Coast Guard to quickly identify who to contact. Get yours today from the Coast Guard Auxiliary.
* Know your limitations — be honest with yourself and your companions. Your life and the lives of those in your party may depend on how everyone understands each other’s capabilities.
For safety equipment requirements based on the size and type of your vessel, visit: http://www.uscgboating.org/
For local National Weather Service advisories, visit: http://www.prh.noaa.gov/guam/