The USCG noted there is high risk of debris in the water, sunken vessels and destroyed or missing aids to navigation and pier facilities, as witnessed in the USCG photos released earlier this week.

There is also risk of chemical spills and changes to the topography/hydrology in ports and marinas from the prolonged winds and storm surge of the Category 5 hurricane.

When Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas a few days ago, it was a Category 5 storm causing high winds and high waves.

According to reports, Hurricane Dorian was the strongest storm of the Atlantic hurricane season so far.

Dorian caused disruption to several cruise ships' routes in the last few days to avoid the Tropical Storm.

To remind, the US Coast Guard had provided the following recommendations before the hurricane approached Florida coast:

  • Stay off the water: The Coast Guard’s search and rescue capabilities degrade as storm conditions strengthen. This means help could be delayed. Boaters should heed weather watches, warnings, and small craft advisories.
  • Evacuate as necessary: If mandatory evacuations are set for an area, the public should evacuate without delay. Coast Guard personnel and other emergency responders may not be able to evacuate or rescue those in danger during the storm.
  • Secure belongings: Owners of large boats are urged to move their vessels to inland marinas where they will be less vulnerable to breaking free of their moorings or to sustaining damage. Trailer-able boats should be pulled from the water and stored in a place that is not prone to flooding. Those who are leaving their boats in the water are reminded to remove electronic position indicating radio beacons (EPIRBs) and to secure life rings, life jackets, and small boats. These items, if not properly secured, can break free and require valuable search and rescue resources be diverted to ensure people are not in distress.
  • Stay clear of beaches: Wave heights and currents typically increase before a storm makes landfall. Even the best swimmers can fall victim to the strong waves and rip currents caused by hurricanes. Swimmers should stay clear of beaches until local lifeguards and law enforcement officials say the water is safe.
  • Be prepared: Area residents should be prepared by developing a family plan, creating a disaster supply kit, having a place to go, securing their home and having a plan for pets. Information can be found at the National Hurricane Center’s webpage.
  • Stay informed: The public should monitor the progress and strength of the storm through local television, radio, and the Internet. Boaters can monitor its progress on VHF radio channel 16. Information can also be obtained on small craft advisories and warnings on VHF radio channel 16.
  • Don’t rely on social media: People in distress should use 911 to request assistance whenever possible. Social media should not be used to report life-threatening distress due to limited resources to monitor the dozens of social media platforms during a hurricane or large-scale rescue event.