Coast Guard warns boaters to stay off water

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The Fourth of July weekend is popular among boaters. But this year, the Coast Guard is urging mariners to stay off the water.

As Tropical Storm Arthur approaches North Carolina, the Coast Guard says it is making preparations with FEMA, government officials, and the National Weather Service.

The Coast Guard says it will send out assessment teams out before and after Arthur passes to keep track of any potential damage, pollution, or search and rescue efforts.

Lieutenant Lane Munroe with Sector North Carolina says the incident management team has added personnel to help with planning for storm activities and to help monitor recreational boating as well.

"It's easy to replace a boat if it's damaged or sunk during the storm. We can't replace people," said Lt. Munroe. "We urge mariners, to perhaps, stay home as the storm passes and to really evaluate if they have all the proper safety equipment before they get underway this weekend."

He says if boaters do decide to take to the ocean, they should constantly check conditions on the Coast Guard's hailing and distressed frequency, channel 16, and have a hurricane preparedness safety plan.

Lt. Munroe also warns mariners to stay vigilante even after the storm passes because it takes several days for the sea to calm down.

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