Coast Guard urges caution for strong ocean swells and breaking surf around San Francisco Bay

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SAN FRANCISCO — The Coast Guard is urging boaters and beach goers to exercise caution in and around the waters of San Francisco Bay due to forecasted strong swells over the next few days.

Strong northwesterly swells are anticipated to impact the coastal north bay to include Point Reyes National Seashore, the San Francisco peninsula, northern Monterey Bay, southern Monterey Bay, and Big Sur. Swells are expected to be eleven to thifteen feet on Monday with a swell period to 16 seconds. This will result in large breakers along the beaches with an increased risk of sneaker waves and rip currents.

Beachgoers are advised to remain extremely cognizant of the ocean conditions, remain well away from the edge of the water and off of exposed rocks and jetties. It is advised to always swim near a lifeguard and watch for sneaker waves; never turn you back on the ocean!

Individuals observing emergencies on the water should immediately contact the Coast Guard at 415-556-2103, or call “911” if they observe individuals or vessels that appear to be in distress.

The Coast Guard offers the following safety tips on the water:

* Stay Informed – Be aware of weather conditions and monitor the progress and strength of storms through local television, radio and internet. Be aware that weather conditions can change quickly. Check the current and expected weather and water conditions before heading out.

*When recreating on the water, whether boating or involved in sports such as kayaking, paddle boarding, or kite and wind surfing, always have a working VHF-FM radio. Mobile phones may not be reliable on the water, and the Coast Guard has the ability to determine your general location when you call in VHF radio; greatly increasing a quick response when individuals are in distress.

*Wear life jackets while on the water. In 2013, 84 percent of boating-related drowning victims were not wearing life jackets.

*File a float plan with friends, family members or local marinas before heading out. A float plan should include contact information, the number of passengers, the vessel’s destination, and expected time of return.

*Do not boat under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances because it can impair your judgment, vision, balance and coordination. Boat motion, vibration, engine noise, sun, wind and spray can accelerate impairment.

*Keep children informed of water safety. The Coast Guard encourages educating children on water safety. For more information on boating safety for kids, visit http://ift.tt/1jnhoL2.

*Dog owners are also reminded to protect their pets from rough waves and not to attempt to rescue their dog from a surf zone. It is important to remember to keep calm and allow the dogs to swim out on their own. For more information on how to protect your pets, please visit http://ift.tt/1mMtu32.

For more information on the current weather conditions please refer to the following links:

National Weather Service

Northwest California Coastal Weather

San Francisco Area Weather

Follow this link for information on rip current safety

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