Ocean kayakers along the Mid Atlantic coastline could encounter high surf, rip currents and other hurricane-related threats.
With the offshore passage of Hurricane Katia, the National Weather Service has issued an advisory warning of possible life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
The Coast Guard is urging mariners and beachgoers to be aware of the dangers of high surf and rip currents in their area.
When offshore storms pass thru the Mid Atlantic, inlets are subject to high surf conditions. Strong currents and shallow water may result in breaking surf in these areas.
Mariners are advised to assess inlet conditions prior to attempting a transit as the surf may create hazardous conditions that limit rescuers' ability to assist victims.
High surf creates rip currents that can drag swimmers away from the beach and lead to drowning when they attempt to fight the current and become exhausted. Rip currents can also affect ocean kayaks that are launched from the surf.
According to the United States Lifesaving Association rip currents cause approximately 100 deaths annually in the United States, more than all other natural hazards except heat and floods.
For more information on rip currents, please visit the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration website.