Staying safe on the water during storm season

Staying safe on the water during storm season
Scallan says if boaters are on an island when a waterspout forms, stay put. (Photo source: WLOX News)
Scallan says if boaters are on an island when a waterspout forms, stay put. (Photo source: WLOX News)

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - It's summertime on the Coast, which means boating, more boating, and storms.

"Storms come and go periodically throughout the day. You'll have a morning storm and it'll be sunny by lunchtime and maybe in the afternoon another storm will pop up," said charter boat captain Gregg Fugh.

The weather over the water can be unpredictable. But, if boaters take the right precautions, they'll have a better chance of making the trip a safe one.

Melissa Scallan with the Department of Marine Resources says the first step is to be weather aware, and check the forecasts. Additionally, be sure to share float plans with others.

"Let somebody know where you're going and where you're going to be and what time you expect to be back so that if something happens they can alert us, the Coast Guard, whoever they need to alert," said Scallan.

On occasion a storm might produce something more than just a deluge. Waterspouts aren't unusual during summer months. Scallan says if boaters are on an island when a waterspout forms, stay put

"If you're on the water and a waterspout pops up and you see it, then you need to move away from it. It's a tornado on the water," said Scallan.

After years of being on the water, Gregg Fugh knows the potential danger waterspouts present.

"You definitely don't want to go around it or come near it. You want to avoid it at all costs," he said.

Fugh suggests simply staying away from funnel clouds, even if it means cutting a trip short.

"Everything else can wait. The big fish and anything can just wait," said Fugh.

To keep up with the weather on the water and on land, download the WLOX Weather App on your Apple or Android devices.

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