The Coast Guard urges mariners and beach goers to exercise extreme caution with the arrival of Hurricane Lester over Labor Day weekend.
Residents and visitors throughout Hawaii should heed all warnings from lifeguards and public health and safety officials. Hurricane Lester is expected to generate extremely dangerous off shore sea conditions with maximum wave heights of 35-feet and winds in excess of 74 mph. In the coastal environment high surf of exceeding 20-feet is expected to impact beaches creating dangerous currents and rip tides. Even the best swimmers can fall victim to strong storm-generated waves and currents. Swimmers are urged to stay clear of beaches until local officials say the water is safe. Near-shore waters may become contaminated due to runoff up to several days following a storm.
Mariners should secure their boats and boating equipment. Owners of large boats are urged to move their vessels to protected marinas where they will be less likely to break free of their moorings or to be otherwise damaged. Smaller boats should be pulled from the water and stored in a place that is not prone to flooding and is protected for high winds. Regardless of location, all loose items aboard vessels should be secured or removed.
Currently all commercial ports are open throughout the main Hawaiian Islands.
Note: There are no anticipated port closures at this time, however port closures are subject to change depending on the path of the storm.
The Coast Guard will continue to broadcast Notice to Mariners and post Marine Safety Information Bulletins on http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=lnmDistrict®ion=14 to notify the future closing of ports and any special conditions.
A PDF version of the Hawai’i Boater’s Hurricane and Tsunami Safety Manual can be found at the following link: http://seagrant.noaa.gov/SeaGrantSearch/TabId/526/ArtMID/3568/ArticleID/354/Hawai%e2%80%98i-Boater%e2%80%99s-Hurricane-and-Tsunami-Safety-Manual.aspx.
For more information on hurricane preparedness, visit the National Hurricane Center’s Web page at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/.