LOS ANGELES – The Coast Guard warns boaters of a severe weather warning including a small craft and high surf advisory issued by NOAA.
The small craft advisory is for the east Santa Barbara Channel from Point Conception to Point Mugu, including Santa Cruz Island and inner waters from Point Mugu to San Mateo Point, including Santa Catalina and Anacapa Islands. The small craft advisory will remain in effect from 3 p.m., Friday until 3 a.m., Sunday.
A small craft advisory means that hazardous wind and sea conditions will exist for small craft and inexperienced mariners. Those operating smaller vessels should avoid navigating in these conditions.
The high surf advisory warning is for San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties and will remain in effect until 3 p.m., Sunday.
Breaking waves from 9 to 13 feet are expected through Sunday afternoon, mainly over the northwest facing beaches. Local sets up to 15 feet are possible.
Beachgoers are advised to use extreme caution when walking near the water. The Coast Guard recommends that during this period of high surf, beachgoers remain well clear of the beach and shore where waves make landfall.
Large waves and strong rip currents will also increase the risk of ocean drowning. Sneaker waves can suddenly wash people off of beaches, rocks or jetties and capsize small boats near shore. Large shore breaks can lead to injury and wave run-up.
Remember, swim near a lifeguard. If caught in a rip current, remain calm and don’t fight the current. Swim in a direction following the shoreline.
In the event that your vessel or someone aboard your vessel is in distress, call the Coast Guard on VHF channel 16, or call the Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles Command Center at 310-521-3805.
The advisory can be found on the National Weather Service’s website which is located at http://www.weather.gov.
The Coast Guard urges mariners to always:
- Wear life jackets while on the water.
- Always have a working marine-band radio on board.
- Carry marine flares on board the vessel.
- Ensure bilge pumps are operational and vessels are secure for heavy winds and rain.
- Stay Informed – The public should be aware of weather conditions and monitor progress through local television, radio and internet. Check the current and expected weather and water conditions before heading out, and be aware that weather conditions can quickly change.
- File a float plan with friends, family members and local marinas before heading out. The list should include the number of passengers aboard the vessel, vessel’s destination and expected time of return.
For more information on boating safety, visit www.uscgboating.org.