• Local fishermen keeping close eye on Arthur

    By: Lorena Inclán


    MAYPORT, Fla. - The first named storm of the 2014 hurricane season could make a big impact on Northeast Florida's shores with larger-than-normal swells that are expected to start Wednesday.  

    Local fishermen are not taking it lightly. Safe Harbor Seafood dock supervisor PJ Punke said he's watching the storm very closely. 

    "These type of storms sometimes affect our snapper boats and shrimp boats so we kind of keep a watchful eye and a lot of the captains keep a watchful eye too," said Punke. 

    All shrimp boats are now tied up and the gear has been secured. According to Punke, the real concern is if the waves hit 10 feet or higher. 

    "Once it gets over that, it becomes definitely a safety issue," said Punke. Red flag warnings can be seen at the beach alerting beachgoers of strong rip curren‎ts. 

    According to Pfc. Lauren Jorgensen, the Coast Guard has already started alerting boaters who are off shore of the oncoming storm. 

    "When those conditions exceed our capabilities first responders might not be available. There might not be anyone who can go out and assist," said Jorgensen. "That's why it's so important for people to heed the warnings."

    The Coast Guard is urging boaters to remember to secure their vessels and gear. Jorgensen said many times life jackets or other gear will drift to sea prompting searches by the Coast Guard. 

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