Coast Guard urges caution for strong swells, rip current conditions in Marin, Santa Cruz counties

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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 strong swells causing increased rip current conditions over the next few days.

Strong southwesterly swells are anticipated to impact coastal sections of Marin and Santa Cruz counties, causing dangerous rip current conditions.

Be advised jetties, inlets and piers are especially prone to stronger and more frequent rip current activity.

Water experts say, if caught in a rip current, swimmers are encouraged to swim parallel to the coast to escape the current before swimming for shore. It is advised to always swim near a lifeguard. Beachgoers are advised to remain well away from the edge of the water and off of exposed rocks and jetties. Watch out for sneaker waves; never turn you back on the ocean!

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. Check the current and expected weather and water conditions before heading out. Be aware that weather conditions can change quickly. For more information on Tuesday’s Coastal Hazard Message, visit:

*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. The list should include the number of passengers aboard the vessel’s destination and expected time of return.

*Always have a working VHF-FM radio onboard; cell phones may not be reliable once underway.

*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 the boating public to educate 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: Eureka http://ift.tt/1mMtu3f

National Weather Service: San Francisco Bay Area/Monterey http://ift.tt/g6a2Dw

For information on rip current safety, follow this link: http://ift.tt/168JWNY

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