National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

The following is a public service announcement for Safe Boating Week: Thursday


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...Thunderstorm Safety...

The following is a safe boating message from the National Safe Boating Council and the National Weather Service.                            

Thunderstorms can be a mariner's worst nightmare.  They can develop quickly and create dangerous wind and wave conditions.  Thunderstorms can bring shifting and gusty winds, lightning, waterspouts, and torrential downpours which can turn a day's pleasure into a nightmare of distress.                            

There are no specific warnings or advisories for lightning but all thunderstorms produce lightning.  A lightning strike to a vessel can be catastrophic, especially if it results in a fire or loss of electronics.  If your boat has a cabin, then stay inside and avoid touching metal or electrical devices.  If your boat doesn't have a cabin, stay as low as you can in the boat.                            

Boaters should use extra caution when thunderstorm conditions exist and have a plan of escape. Mariners are especially vulnerable because at times they may be unable to reach port  quickly. It is therefore strongly recommended you do not venture out if thunderstorms are a possibility.  If you do venture out and recognize thunderstorms nearby, head to port or safe shelter as quickly as possible. Ultimately, boating safety begins ashore with planning and training.  Keep in mind that thunderstorms are usually brief so waiting it out is better than riding it out.                            

This message was brought to you by the National Weather Service and the National Safe Boating Council. Visit the National Weather Service on the web at and the National Safe Boating Council at