Maui News

Mariners Urged to Prepare for High Surf

January 22, 2014, 3:04 PM HST
* Updated January 22, 3:07 PM
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U.S. Coast Guard file photo courtesy PA3 Michael De Nyse.

U.S. Coast Guard file photo courtesy PA3 Michael De Nyse.

By Wendy Osher

The US Coast Guard issued a reminder to mariners today, urging them to use caution in anticipation of high surf expected today and tomorrow throughout the island chain.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued a high surf warning for the north facings shores of Maui and the north and west facing shores of Molokaʻi in Maui County.

Surf is expected to be 40 to 50 feet along the north facing shores of affected islands, and 20 to 30 feet along the west facing shores.

There is also a small craft advisory in effect until 6 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014, for Maui County leeward waters, the Pailolo Channel between Maui and Molokaʻi, and ʻAlenuihāhā Channel between Hawaiʻi and Maui.

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The National Weather Service says rough seas of 7 to 21 feet are expected, with southwest to westerly winds blowing at 15 to 25 knots, and gusts up to 35 knots.

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The agency advises inexperienced mariners to avoid navigating in these hazardous conditions.

The Coast Guard issued the following tips for mariners to always practice:

  • “Stay Informed: be aware of weather conditions and monitor the progress and strength of the storm through local television, radio and internet. Check the current and expected weather and water conditions before heading out, and be aware that weather conditions can quickly change.
  • Wear life jackets while on the water.
  • File a float plan with friends, family members and local marinas before heading out.  The list should include the number of passengers aboard the vessel, vessel’s destination and expected time of return.
  • Have a working VHF radio aboard.
  • Carry marine flares aboard the vessel.
  • Ensure bilge pumps are operational and vessels are secure for heavy winds and rain.”
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