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Coast Guard units prepare for storm

The Daily ItemBOSTON ? Winds are expected to exceed 55 mph while seas build to over 20 feet Sunday morning, prompting regional Coast Guard units to ready their rescue personnel and alert mariners to the approaching storm.On Friday, a HU-25 Falcon jet from Air Station Cape Cod flew offshore to warn boaters via VHF radio channel 16 that the weather system is potentially dangerous. Coast guard cutters along the shoreline and farther out to sea were put on heightened readiness status to assist mariners in distress.Mariners are urged to closely monitor channel 16 for updated storm information. For additional data, mariners with Internet access can go online to the National Weather Service and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration at www.nws.noaa.gov.Seas and wind have been building incrementally since early in the week. The Coast Guard rescued two mariners from their sailboat off Fire Island, N.Y. on Thursday night. The sailors ran into 10-foot seas and winds topping 25 mph.The rescue began with a MAYDAY call from a barge operator, stating that a sailboat was in distress. A 47-foot motor lifeboat rescue crew from Coast Guard Station Fire Island, a rescue helicopter crew from Cape Cod, and Suffolk County police boat and helicopter crews responded immediately.Following a search by air and sea, the sailboat “Outrageous” was located and a Coast Guard rescue swimmer lowered from a helicopter to check on the condition of those aboard. One member of the “Outrageous” crew had sustained arm injuries when heavy seas rolled the boat. A Coast Guardman from the motor lifeboat remained on boat the sailboat to assist with towing operations.

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