Coast Guard closes multiple bar entrances on Washington and Oregon coast

13th Coast Guard District NewsASTORIA, Ore. — The Coast Guard Captain of the Port (COTP) Sector Columbia River, in Astoria, Ore., and the COTP Sector Puget Sound in Seattle issued the closure of multiple river bars within Oregon and Washington due to hazardous conditions Sunday.

The bars at the Columbia River, Siuslaw River, Ore., Depoe Bay, Ore., Grays Harbor, Wash., Tillamook Bay, Ore., Yaquina Bay, Ore., and Quillayute River, Wash., are closed.

The bar closure applies to all vessels and any request to transit the bars prior to reopening must be approved by the COTP, Sector Columbia River. Mariners may contact the Coast Guard on VHF-FM Channel 16 or Sector Columbia River by telephone at (503) 861-6211 or Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound at 206-217-6001 for further information or to request crossing.

The Coast Guard will re-evaluate the bar closure on an ongoing basis and will re-open the waterway as soon as the offshore weather improves.

The Coast Guard understands the effects these closures have on commerce and will make every effort to re-open these waterways as soon as they are considered safe for navigation.

The Coast Guard reminds boaters it is dangerous to fish during high surf conditions.

Marinas and boaters are reminded to check that boats in port are properly secured, bilge pumps are functional, and all loose items are removed from decks. Report any boats adrift, pollution or other maritime emergencies to the National Response Center at (800) 424-8802 or your local Coast Guard unit.

Here are some tips for those who choose to go out on the water during the upcoming heavy weather:

* – Leave a float plan with a responsible individual who knows your intentions, location and who they should call if you do not return as scheduled.

* – Wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket and set the example for your passengers or paddling partners.

* – Carry a marine VHF radio and other reliable means of communication.

* – Be prepared for the shock of sudden immersion and the disabling effects of cold water. Plan for the worst: dress as though you are going to get wet and be cold.

* – Maintain awareness on the water – be aware of activity around your vessel including changing weather, and always know your location.

* – Be responsible – Know that alcohol and drugs cause accidents and sometimes death.

* – Don’t boat alone – Boating alone is not recommended. Recreational canoeists and kayakers often travel with a single canoe and one partner, or even solo, but it is recommended you canoe, kayak or boat with at least three people or two craft.

* – Know your limitations – Be honest with yourself and your companions. Your life and the lives of those in your party may depend on how everyone understands each other’s capabilities.

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