DANIA BEACH, Fla. – While there was a mega yacht migration inland through The New River Thursday in Fort Lauderdale, some boat owners in South Florida were securing their boats.
Shannon Mears was at the Dania Beach Marina, formerly known as the SeaFair Marina, in Broward County. She lives on her boat, but she will be leaving it behind during the storm.
"I got off work and I figured I might as well leave now while I could," Mears said, adding that she was securing her boat by "tying down every little part you can tie down, and try to get it as tight as possible."
Mark Joseph was also hard at work protecting his investment in Dania Beach. He is among the boaters who said Hurricane Irma was a warning about how bad a storm's damage can be.
"We like to double up all of our lines give it some give so when the tide goes up it can go up freely and come down also," Joseph said. "Anything that flies off this boat can damage your neighbors boat, so you want to do your due diligence."
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the boats that are stored on lifts are especially vulnerable during a hurricane because of the wind, storm surge and rainfall.
The Coast Guard urges owners of large boats to move their vessels to inland marinas and owners of boats that can be moved with a trailer to move the boat to an area that is not prone to flooding. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will be reporting port conditions updates online.
Other tips from the Coast Guard
- Small personal watercraft like paddle boards, kayaks and canoes should be secured and marked with the owner's contact information.
- When removing the EPIRB from the vessel, ensure it does not inadvertently activate which could signal a false alert.
- Place the EPIRB back in the vessels before use.
- "Storms move quickly and are unpredictable. You can always replace a boat; you cannot replace a life."