Coast Guard cautions beachgoers and boaters of hazardous marine conditions in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands due to Tropical Storm Karen

united states coast guard 

News Release  

U.S. Coast Guard 7th District Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands
Contact: Coast Guard Puerto Rico PA Office
Office: 787-729-2381
After Hours: 787-510-7923
7th District Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands online newsroom

Coast Guard cautions beachgoers and boaters of hazardous marine conditions in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands due to Tropical Storm Karen 

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The Coast Guard advises caution at beaches in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands due to dangerous high surf and rip currents in the area Monday as Tropical Storm Karen continues to approach the islands.

There are National Weather Service is predicting that seas will become more hazardous in our southeastern waters and that Tropical Storm Karen will cause marine conditions to deteriorate tonight through at least Wednesday, with occasional seas tonight of up to eight feet, and occasional seas Tuesday of up to 17 feet.  National Weather Service Marine Forecast.

The Coast Guard Rescue Sub-Center contact number to report a distress or rescue situation in Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands is 787-289-2041, while VHF Channel 16 is the international distress frequency to report maritime emergencies.

The Coast Guard advises public and recreational boaters of safety messages:

A rip current is a powerful channel of water that flows quickly away from shore. They often occur at low spots or breaks in the sandbar. Any object or person caught in a rip current can be pulled out into deeper seas.

If you become caught in a rip current, do not panic. The way to escape a rip current is to swim parallel to the shore. Once you are away from the force of the rip current, begin to swim back to the beach. Do not attempt to swim directly against the current, as you can become easily exhausted, even if you are a strong swimmer.

Secure belongings.  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. Trailer-able boats should be taken out of the water and stored in a place not prone to flooding.  Those who are leaving their boats in the water are reminded to remove EPIRBs and to secure life rings, lifejackets and small boats. These items, if not properly secured, can break free and require valuable search and rescue resources be diverted to ensure people are not in distress.

Stay clear of beaches. Wave heights and currents typically increase before a storm makes landfall. Even the best swimmers can fall victim to the strong waves and rip currents caused by hurricanes.  Swimmers should stay clear of beaches until local lifeguards and law enforcement officials say the water is safe.

Be prepared. Area residents should be prepared by developing a family plan, creating a disaster supply kit, having a place to go, securing their home and having a plan for pets. Information can be found at the National Hurricane Center’s website.

Stay informed. The public should monitor the progress and strength of the storm through local television, radio and 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 the latest forecast advisories and weather updates for Tropical Storm Karen visit the National Hurricane Wenter website.

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