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      Coast Guard encourages boaters to secure vessels for high winds

      CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- The U.S. Coast Guard is advising people to prepare their boats for incoming high winds ahead of the arctic blast that is crossing the country.

      Western winds between 25 and 30 mph with{}40 mph gusts are expected. Gale warnings are also predicted for the coastal and offshore areas. Seas are predicted to rise between{}5 and 7 feet Monday night.

      The Coast Guard is asking boaters to tie down along piers and moorings ahead of the winds, advising the secondary lines may be needed. They are also asking people to move objects below deck that might get blown into the water because those objects have been misidentified as people in distress in the past.

      Swimmers are also advised to avoid activities in the water due to the dropping temperatures and rising seas.

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