Coast Guard warns of storm in Samoa - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Coast Guard warns of storm in Samoa

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Coast Guard in Honolulu and American Samoa are preparing for severe weather this weekend in American Samoa.

Indications and models suggest the current tropical depression is expected to form into a tropical cyclone within the next 24 hours. Weather predictions indicate heavy rain and thunderstorms for the next week.

"For their own safety, we ask that citizens heed all warnings and notices regarding this storm. The storm will produce high winds, heavy rains, and rough seas," said Lt. Blair Sweigart, with the Incident Management Division in Sector Honolulu. "The National Weather Service Office in Pago Pago has issued a small craft advisory for all waters surrounding American Samoa. We join the Weather Service in recommending that all small vessels return to port or seek a safe harbor and that mariners begin preparations to secure vessels in port."

Two Marine Science Technicians from Coast Guard Sector Honolulu are standing by to respond and deploy to American Samoa, in the event the storm makes landfall, to conduct a damage assessment and assist in any response actions resulting from the storm.

Members from Marine Safety Detachment American Samoa are currently preparing for the impending storm as well. Lt. Trevor Parra, supervisor of the MSD, is coordinating with port partners and members of the American Samoa Government.

The Coast Guard has issued a Maritime Safety Information Broadcast.

All mariners, vessel owners and harbor facility operators are encouraged to take steps to ensure vessels and facilities are prepared for the anticipated heavy winds and seas. Suggested measures for vessels in port include: doubling-up, lengthening and adding additional mooring lines, charging batteries to ensure proper operation of automatic bilge pumps, and removing or securing of all loose items that could possibility create projectile hazards.

Prior to getting underway, the Coast Guard advises mariners to check weather and sea conditions and all essential safety equipment including an Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon, a functioning radio and flares prior to getting underway. It is recommended that boaters wear their life jackets at all times during heavy weather events.

The Coast Guard also recommends filing a float plan with the harbormaster or a responsible adult prior to departure. The plan should include the date and time of departure, the estimated date and time of return and the intended destination. A detailed float plan helps to ensure that search and rescue assets are dispatched in a timely manner when boaters fail to return on schedule. For more information on float plans and general boating safety, please visit the following web site: http://www.uscgboating.org/safety/float_planning.aspx.

Mariners can stay tuned to the latest weather updates from the National Weather Service at their web site: http://www.prh.noaa.gov/pr/hnl/.

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