Only the very foolish visit to sea without checking the climate in advance and acting sensibly.
Wind speeds are commonly mentioned as fitting into the bands of the Beaufort Scale a universally known and often used warning. The Beaufort Scale begins at 0 which is calm, then the dimensions rises numerically through to 6 – strong breeze at which factor the Gale Pennant is flown to indicate a risk to safety. Beyond 6 and up to 12 the Beaufort Scale shows increasing risk and 10 through 12 is indicated by Storm Warning Pennants – a red flag with a black square at the centre, 12 is hurricane/typhoon strength. In short Gale force 6 and above, head for port on the shortest possible heading.
Charter businesses, fishing and sailing businesses and those operating yacht and boat corporations should understand that any wind speeds of 5 or 6 will placed their boats at risk and of course that means the passengers too!
From the boater point of view, a good deal depends on the knowledge and revel in of the skipper, commercial boats and their crews will commonly take a pragmatic view of the weather understanding that heavy weather can cause loss of life. Seasoned skippers understand a way to judge the situation and will check with the Coast Guard services or Harbour Master, there may be one locally, to ascertain the degree of threat and any ban on sailing. And, look out for Gale Pennants they are not for decoration!
However, not every sailor is so skilled and there are many who simply flow out of an inlet to fish or sail a little without the level of knowledge or schooling to know better. Across the arena the seas can cross from placid and welcoming, warm enough for one to fall asleep maybe, and in a very short time heavy weather, rain squalls, and crashing waves can arise catching the unwary out. More than a few such events have ended up costing lives. Please, remember if you placed your self and your boat at risk someone will have to put their lives at risk to save you.
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