Coast Guard warns of hazardous seas

Mckinleyville, Calif. — The Coast Guard is warning residents of the North Coast of extremely hazardous seas that are expected through Friday. The expected surf conditions could exceed Coast Guard lifeboat limitations, leaving only rescue helicopters to respond outside of Humboldt Bay.

A strong low pressure system over the Gulf of Alaska is generating large and long period swells that will soon arrive in local coastal waters. These deep ocean swells of 25 to 30 feet, combined with periods of around 15 seconds will produce breaking waves in the surf zone between 30 and 35 feet along northwest facing beaches. Additionally, extreme high tides will peak during the morning of the 25th due to astronomic conditions. This combination of tides and large-long period swells will bring the potential of coastal flooding. Waves will likely run up to places normally considered a safe distance from the water. The power of these waves may easily wash debris up onto beaches or people out to sea.

The Coast Guard is urging people to stay clear of the surf zone and avoid jetties and low lying areas adjacent to the beaches.

A high surf warning indicates that dangerous battering waves will pound the shoreline. This will result in very dangerous conditions and deadly rip currents.

For info on Coast Guard assets see:

http://www.uscg.mil/datasheet/47mlb.asp and http://www.uscg.mil/datasheet/hh-65.asp

More the most current weather information, please visit the National Weather Service web site.

For more complete boating safety information, please visit the Coast Guard Boating Safety web site.

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