Coast Guard reminds western Wash., boaters to prepare for inclement weather

SEATTLE — The Coast Guard reminds boaters and beachgoers to use extreme caution in western Wash., through Monday in response to hazardous weather predictions from the National Weather Service (NWS).

According to the NWS, rivers are likely to become flooded, swollen and contain dangerous debris. It is recommended that vessel owners check moorings and secure vessels for bad weather.

“The debris extend beyond the river into the Puget Sound and surrounding waters, causing an extreme hazard while boating,” said John Howk, Assistant Controller at the Coast Guard’s Pacific Northwest Command Center.

Boaters and beachgoers should follow these guidelines to ensure their safety:

1. Check local weather forecasts: Be aware that storms can come up quickly and without warning. Always check local weather conditions and forecasts before heading out.

2. Exercise extreme caution on the beach: Sudden, powerful waves can engulf the entire beach, knocking people down or throwing them violently against nearby rocks. Once in the water, strong currents can pull people out to sea. Waves breaking on the beach can also toss driftwood or debris on beachgoers. Be aware of rising tides. High tides can trap people on rock formations and in coves. Always let someone know where you are going and walk with a buddy.

3. Cover and secure your boat: Heavy rains can flood boats and even cause sinking in extreme cases. Protect your boat and be sure your vessel is adequately covered when it is moored up to prevent flooding.

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