OPA-LOCKA, FLA. (WSVN) - The Coast Guard took to the sky in order to deliver a warning to boaters from the Bahamas south to Key West.
The men and women at U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Miami went on a mission Monday, ahead of Subtropical Storm Nicole.
“Our mission is really just to make sure all the lives at sea are safe and to seek safe harbor if needed,” said James Bersani AET2, U.S. Coast Guard Miami.
“There’s going to be high winds, high seas, so it’s time to seek shelter, seek port,” said Lt. Jr. Grade Hannah Boyce, U.S. Coast Guard Miami. “You don’t want be out here when the hurricane comes.”
The crew took advantage of the mild conditions flying across the Florida Straits and Caribbean with a message that broadcast the following: “There is a tropical storm warning is in effect for the straits of Florida, Hawk Channel, Gulf waters, including the Dry Tortugas and the Florida Bay.”
Flights like this allow the coast guard to broadcast that message much farther than from land, all in hopes that mariners find safety sooner than later.
“Mariners should alter plans to avoid hazardous conditions,” continued the message.
“Traveling at 1500 feet is when we do broadcast over channel 60. We have a much wider range than a land unit or boat would have, so even though we’re only at Bimini because we are so high even San Andros can hear us,” said Boyce.
They hope mariners heed their message to seek safe harbor now.
“We have seen with a lot of hurricanes they never really do what you expect them to do, and when it comes down to it, it’s your property, it’s your families’ lives, so you want to be as prepared as possible,” said Boyce. “Even if you think it’s not going to hit you, you just want to be ready for it, safe.”
With the potential storm surge and large wind gusts, the coast guard urges those who have their boats tied up in their backyards to check their lines.
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