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Bad Weather Poses Danger To Mariners

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The U.S. Coast Guard in St. Petersburg was one of several agencies busy helping boaters in the choppy waters off Florida's west coast on Tuesday.

Seamen assisted 18 mariners and rescued seven from the water during a 12-hour stretch, the Coast Guard said in a statement.

The rainy weather from midnight to noon Tuesday was not good for sailing because of low visibility, lightning and rough waters. A small craft advisory remains in effect through Wednesday.

The Coast Guard reminds boaters to pay attention to weather conditions and make sure vessels have proper safety equipment, including two-way radios and life jackets.  It recommends that vessels have an "Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon," which track a boat's location to make it easier for rescue crews to find boaters in an emergency.

Mariners should also alert someone on land to their specific travel plans and expected time on the water.

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