Coast Guard urges public practice caution during forecasted inclement sea, weather conditions

National Weather Service LogoSAN FRANCISCO – The National Weather Service has issued a high-surf advisory from the Coastal North Bay, including Point Reyes National Seashore, San Francisco Peninsula Coast, Southern Monterey Bay and Big Sur Coast from 11 a.m. Tuesday, to 3 p.m. Wednesday.

The Coast Guard strongly recommends that people avoid going near these beaches or other low-lying coastal areas, including jetties and rocky areas, during that time. Large waves can quickly and unexpectedly sweep a person from these areas. Even the strongest swimmers can be overtaken by the power of the sea, especially when the cold-water temperatures are factored in.

Given the cold air temperatures associated with this system and typical bay and Pacific Ocean waters that range from 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, hypothermia is a major concern.

Though the large waves can be an extreme sight to some, the Coast Guard and its partner agencies, urge people to not go near these areas if possible. The risk to life is too great during conditions such as these.

The Coast Guard also strongly recommends boaters avoid taking to the water until the seas subside.

If it necessary to get underway mariners are urged to check that all of their safety equipment is in good condition.

There should be a personal flotation device aboard for each person, sized accordingly. If boaters will be traveling offshore, it is strongly recommended that there be an immersion suit or other full-body protection, as water temperatures will be cold, and hypothermia can quickly overtake the average person.

Boaters are reminded to ensure they have a working marine VHF radio onboard to contact the Coast Guard on channel 16 should an emergency arise. The Coast Guard reminds all mariners that channel 16 is an emergency frequency, and should be used for such. Misuse of channel 16 or broadcasting false distress calls can result in prison time, severe fines, and liability for any costs incurred as a result of search efforts.

The Coast Guard also strongly urges boaters file a float plan with a friend or family member on land with an approximate time of return and location, to which you will be heading. It is also recommended that you regularly check in with those who are aware of your plan, especially if your plan should change.

Mariners should check current and forecasted weather conditions prior to getting underway, and remain aware of changing conditions once on the water. The National Weather Service broadcasts weather conditions throughout the day on VHF channel WX2. The Coast Guard broadcasts weather conditions on VHF channel 22A at 9:30 a.m., noon and 4:30 p.m.

As the storm season for Northern California begins, the Coast Guard encourages all boaters to check the status of mooring and anchor lines, and replace worn lines if necessary. During strong winds and heavy seas, vessels can come loose from the pier or anchor due to worn lines.

Vessels adrift can become hazardous to nearby vessels as they are tossed about and may become hazards to navigation once the storm has passed. These vessels can also pose environmental risk as any fluids or chemicals aboard can spill or leak should the vessel break apart.

For more information on boating safety and required and recommended safety equipment, please visit www.uscgboating.org.

For more information on weather conditions, please visit: National Weather Service Marine Forecast Central Coast

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