Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Portland, ME

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PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT...NATIONAL SAFE BOATING WEEK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAY ME
154 PM EDT WED MAY 24 2017

...THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CONTINUES TO OBSERVE MAY 20th
THROUGH 26TH AS NATIONAL SAFE BOATING WEEK...

...Wind and Waves...

The following is a safe boating message from the National Safe
Boating Council and the National Weather Service, reminding you that
National Safe Boating Week is May 20TH through May 26TH.

Recent national statistics indicated that 281 deaths occurred when
boats went down in calm seas.  However, 247 deaths also occurred
under choppy, rough or very rough conditions during this period.

Wind and waves affect all types of boats so it is important all
boaters know some basic facts about winds and waves. Wind over water
is usually stronger than over nearby land. Wind is the main factor
in wave development and in general, the stronger the wind...the
larger the waves.

Individual waves are measured from trough to crest. Seas are the
combination of both locally generated wind waves and distantly
generated swells and are expressed in the terms of the Significant
Wave Height, The mean or average height of the highest one third of
the waves. It approximates the value an experienced observer would
report if visually estimating sea height. When expressed as a range
(for example, seas 3 TO 5 ft), this indicates a degree of
uncertainty in the forecast and/or expected changing conditions. The
danger presented to a vessel is a function of wave steepness as well
as wave height and is unique to each vessel. In general for small
vessels, for a given wave height the danger increases as the wave
period decreases.

"The seventh wave of the seventh set", An old fisherman`s tale?
Perhaps, but it does serve to highlight that wave and surf
conditions are not always constant. In open waters, the occasional
wave may be twice that of the surrounding sea. There are occasional
reports of "rogue" waves of an even greater ratio. Near
shore...waves are even less predictable. So-called "sneaker waves"
can grab the unwary who venture too close to the unpredictable sea.
Mariners may be drawn too close to the surf zone during periods of
relative calm. Proceed cautiously and always be wary of this not
uncommon phenomenon, especially in areas where breaking surf is
known to occur or appears likely.

Winds and waves can change quickly in speed, direction and steepness
so it is important you include a marine forecast in your
preparations for boating.

This message from the National Safe Boating Council was forwarded to
you by the National Weather Service and the Northeast Regional Ocean
Observing System...NERACOOS.
$$

NNNN


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