Only the very foolish visit to sea without checking the weather beforehand and performing sensibly.
Wind speeds are commonly mentioned as becoming 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 via to 6 – strong breeze at which point the Gale Pennant is flown to signify a danger to safety. Beyond 6 and up to 12 the Beaufort Scale indicates increasing hazard 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 organizations, fishing and sailing businesses and those operating yacht and boat businesses 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 relies upon the knowledge and experience of the skipper, commercial boats and their crews will commonly take a pragmatic view of the weather knowing 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 to check the diploma 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 recognize better. Across the arena the seas can cross from placid and welcoming, warm enough for one to maybe, and in a totally quick time heavy weather, rain squalls, and crashing waves can occur catching the unwary out. More than a few such occasions have ended up costing lives. Please, don’t forget 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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