Windy conditions deter Pine Island boaters

Posted at 8:47 PM, Jan 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-23 06:59:40-05

PINE ISLAND, Fla. -- The U.S. Coast Guard warned boaters about severe weather conditions Sunday.

On Pine Island in Southwest Florida, water was extremely choppy as winds continued to build. "Due to severe weather impacting our region, it is ill advised to head out on the water," said Richard Hutchinson, a search and rescue coordinator at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg. "Your life is too valuable to take the risk and brave these conditions."

While many stayed out of the water, some like Brian Woodstock felt safe. He said his vessel is big enough to safely withstand a storm. "It's suppose to be coming in here very shortly, so hopefully I get out and stay dry," he said.

The Coast Guard rescued 16 boaters Saturday, and reminds boaters severe weather in the region could mean tornados, hail, high winds and limited visibility. They also remind mariners to take proper precautions to ensure their vessel and loose items are properly secured.

"Today is not the day to boat," said Woodstock. "Tomorrow either. so if you're going to go out in the water, wait until midweek."