Only the very foolish visit to sea without checking the weather beforehand and acting sensibly.
Wind speeds are generally acknowledged as becoming into the bands of the Beaufort Scale a universally known and regularly 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 hazard and 10 via 12 is indicated by Storm Warning Pennants – a red flag with a black square at the centre, 12 is hurricane/typhoon strength. In quick Gale force 6 and above, head for port on the shortest feasible heading.
Charter businesses, fishing and sailing businesses and those working yacht and boat corporations should apprehend that any wind speeds of 5 or 6 will put their boats at chance 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 usually take a pragmatic view of the weather understanding that heavy climate can cause loss of life. Seasoned skippers will know how 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 risk 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 world the seas can cross from placid and welcoming, warm enough for one to maybe, and in a very short time heavy weather, rain squalls, and crashing waves can occur catching the unwary out. More than some such occasions have ended up costing lives. Please, remember if you put your self and your boat at risk someone will have to put their lives at risk to save you.
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