Experts stress for Hampton Roads boat owners to secure or remove vessel ahead of Dorian

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Boat captain Daniel LeGrand spent Monday securing his charter boat at Lynnhaven Marina.

"Today I'm putting in a new battery charger and fresh batteries, and I'm going to put some fresh lines in and make some adjustments," said LeGrand.

LeGrand says the fresh batteries are important so his bilge pump can push out any storm surge and heavy rain that enters his prized fishing boat.

"This is a yearly routine for us. Every year we have threats and I always have a plan because I don't want to wait until the last minute," he stated.

Officer Bonnie Braziel with the Virginia Conservation Police says LeGrand is right on track and other boaters should follow suit, especially if your boat can't be pulled out of the water.

"In a hurricane situation, you wanna make sure your spring lines or diagonal lines are doubled up; they can rise and fall with the tides and storm surges," Braziel said.

Braziel said make sure your lines are new, as they can deteriorate with the salt and sun from the summer months.

Related: Navy sorties ships in Florida ahead of Dorian; no decision yet on Hampton Roads

"You also want to remove life jackets, curtains, flagpoles - anything that can blow away," stated Braziel.

She advises boat owners to remove any electronics on the boat or cover them up and also to use plastic fenders to prevent damage to your boats and others. LeGrand agrees.

"If folks don't check on their boats very often, their lines could be compromised. Once a boat breaks free, it could tear up everything in sight," said LeGrand.

Experts also say it's important to take pictures of your boat before a storm, take inventory of what's on board, gather all documents like your registration and insurance and keep those in a water-proof box in your possession.

Braziel says never go out and fix your boat during a storm, as it is too dangerous. And for those who live on their boats, seek shelter in a hotel or with family.

Click here for more Dorian coverage.

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