PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HOUSTON/GALVESTON TX
815 AM CDT FRI MAY 22 2009

...LIGHTNING SAFETY ON THE OPEN WATER...

THE FOLLOWING IS A SAFE BOATING MESSAGE FROM THE NATIONAL SAFE
BOATING COUNCIL AND THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE.

THE MOST COMMON THREAT BOATERS FACE IN THUNDERSTORMS IS LIGHTNING.
EACH YEAR 100000 THUNDERSTORMS DEVELOP ACROSS THE UNITED STATES AND
ADJACENT COASTAL WATERS. LIGHTNING CAN GENERATE A PHENOMENAL AMOUNT
OF HEAT THAT CAN VAPORIZE WATER...MELT METAL...OR CAUSE OBJECTS TO
EXPLODE. BOLTS OF LIGHTNING CAN PRODUCE EXTREME TEMPERATURES UP TO
53 THOUSAND DEGREES FAHRENHEIT...OR ALMOST 5 TIMES HOTTER THAN THE
SURFACE OF THE SUN. A LIGHTNING STRIKE TO A BOAT CAN BE
CATASTROPHIC... ESPECIALLY IF IT RESULTS IN A FIRE OR LOSS OF RADIO
AND NAVIGATION EQUIPMENT.

ALTHOUGH YOU CANNOT PREVENT LIGHTNING FROM STRIKING YOUR BOAT YOU
CAN TAKE PROTECTIVE MEASURES TO LIMIT THE DAMAGE. THE BEST THING TO
DO WHEN YOU SEE LIGHTNING OR HEAR THUNDER IS HEAD TO SHORE AND TAKE
SHELTER UNTIL THE STORM PASSES. IF YOU MUST WEATHER THE STORM OUT ON
THE WATER...DROP ANCHOR SO THE BOATS BOW POINTS INTO THE WIND. IF
YOUR BOAT HAS A CABIN...STAY INSIDE AND AVOID TOUCHING METAL OR
ELECTRICAL DEVICES. IF YOUR BOAT DOESNT HAVE A CABIN...STAY AS LOW
AS YOU CAN IN THE BOAT. AT ALL TIMES...BUT ESPECIALLY DURING
THUNDERSTORMS...MAKE SURE YOU AND YOUR CREW ARE WEARING LIFE
JACKETS. TO PROTECT YOUR BOAT...MAKE SURE IT IS GROUNDED. USE A GOOD
CONDUCTIVE MATERIAL TO ALLOW THE CURRENT TO TRAVEL THROUGH AND OFF
THE BOAT THROUGH A DISCHARGE PLATE OR THE KEEL. ANOTHER WAY TO
MINIMIZE THE CHANCE OF A LIGHTNING STRIKE IS TO INSTALL A STATIC
DISSIPATER.

LISTEN TO NOAA WEATHER RADIO ALL HAZARDS FOR THE LATEST FORECAST
INFORMATION BEFORE SETTING SAIL. ON THE OPEN WATERS...SET
YOUR RADIO FREQUENCY TO THE NOAA WEATHER RADIO ALL HAZARDS FOR
ALERTS ON SUDDEN SEVERE STORMS THAT MIGHT CROSS YOUR PATH.

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