Coast Guard advises boaters to practice caution during heavy weather conditions near San Francisco

Pacific Southwest Coast Guard News 
SAN FRANCISCO — The Coast Guard cautions the public to exercise safe and responsible boating practices and to keep beach safety guidelines in mind as high seas, strong winds and rain are predicted to impact the San Francisco Bay Area, starting today and continuing tomorrow.

Wind gusts as high as 49 mph are possible from the south creating sea conditions which can be dangerous.

Please check NOAA area weather site for the latest updates prior to getting underway.

The Coast Guard reminds people to avoid going near low-lying beaches and other coastal areas including jetties and rocky areas during heavy weather.  Large waves can quickly and unexpectedly sweep a person from these areas.

It is recommended that individuals avoid taking to the water during storm conditions.  If it is necessary to get underway, mariners are urged to check all of their safety equipment to ensure it is in good condition and working properly.

The Coast Guard also encourages all vessel owners and operators to check the status of mooring and anchoring arrangements.  Vessels that are not properly secured during a storm can break free from moorings, often a result of worn lines, an insufficient numbers of lines, or an improperly sized anchor or anchor chain. It is a good idea to double up vessel mooring lines during strong winds and heavy seas.  Vessels that become adrift pose severe hazards to nearby people and vessels and can also pose environmental risks as any fluids or chemicals aboard can spill or leak.  The Coast Guard urges vessel owners and operators to take extra precautions in anticipation of the forecasted storm system by addressing mooring safety and securing potential sources of marine pollution.

USCG Storm Center, www.uscg.mil/news/stormcenter.

NOAA Marine Weather from Fort Bragg to Piedras Blancas, CA,http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/mtr/

USCG Safe Boating, www.uscgboating.org.

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