Coast Guard urges boaters to remain in port during winter storm

SAN DIEGO — The Coast Guard advises boaters to remain in port due to a gale warning and high surf advisory issued by the National Weather Service, Monday.

Winter storms are expected to impact San Diego County Coastal Areas and waters from San Mateo Point to the Mexican Border through the night.

Coast Guard personnel responded to reports of multiple vessels which broke free from their moorings and drifted into the surf zone in the vicinity of Coronado, Calif. A crew from Station San Diego recovered two people from their boat. Later, they responded to reports of vessels that broke free Zuniga Jetty anchorage area and were in danger of damaging other vessels anchored or going aground.

A gale warning is a warning of winds within the range of 39 – 54 mph (34 – 47 knots).

Operating a vessel in gale conditions requires experience and properly equipped vessels. It is highly recommended that mariners without the proper experience seek safe harbor prior to the onset of gale conditions.

Boaters are advised to ensure their vessel is properly secured to its slip or mooring, as boats that become adrift are likely to cause damage to other vessels or mooring structures.

Those who must venture out should take extra precautions to ensure their safety. It is important that boaters make sure they have required safety equipment, such as lifejackets for everyone aboard and signal flares, and also equip their boats with a Global Positioning System (GPS), a marine VHF radio, and a 406-MHz Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB). Cellular phones can be useful as a backup means of communication, but signal coverage can be unreliable offshore.

Boaters in distress can contact the Coast Guard with a marine VHF radio on channel 16.

The most current marine forecast is available on the National Weather Service web site at http://www.weather.gov/ . Boating safety requirements and education information can be found at http://www.uscgboating.org/.

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