ALAMEDA, Calif. — The Coast Guard urges mariners to boat with caution or avoid the water altogether as weekend weather forecasts call for heavy seas and strong winds.
With waves forecasted to reach 17 feet and winds expected to exceed 45 mph, boaters should check weather conditions before leaving the dock and wear a life jacket at all times if they choose to get underway.
Hazardous weather is expected to begin Thursday and extend into early next week. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has issued a small-craft advisory for the San Francisco Bay Area beginning Thursday.
A small-craft advisory means that winds of 23-to-37 mph are expected to produce hazardous wave conditions. Mariners, especially those operating smaller vessels, should avoid navigating in these conditions.
Additional weather information can be found at the National Weather Service website at www.wrh.noaa.gov.
The Coast Guard also recommends that mariners always:
- Stay informed and aware of weather conditions and monitor the progress and strength of currents through local television, radio and internet. Check the current and expected weather and water conditions before heading out.
- File a float plan with a family member or friend, which includes information about the boat, the number of passengers aboard, the destination of where the vessel will be operating and an expected time of return.
- Have a working marine-band radio and use VHF-FM channel 16 in the event of an emergency.
- Wear a life jacket.
- Carry marine flares aboard the vessel.
- Ensure bilge pumps are operational and vessels are secure for heavy winds and rain.