Coast Guard warns public of upcoming Bay Area winter storm

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SAN FRANCISCO — The Coast Guard advises the public to begin making preparations and exercise caution when on and around the water, as high seas and strong winds are predicted to impact central California starting late Wednesday.

The National Weather Service is forecasting a significant winter storm that is expected to bring rain, thunderstorms, high surf, wind and associated hazards to the Bay Area beginning Wednesday night and lasting into Thursday night. The storm is expected to produce strong southerly winds as high as 50 mph along the coast through Thursday evening.

The Coast Guard encourages all marinas, vessel owners and operators and the public who live along the water to prepare for the storm. Boat owners are advised to check the status of mooring and anchoring arrangements. Vessels not properly secured during a storm can break free from their moorings, become possible safety hazards to other mariners and can also pose environmental risks as any fluids or chemicals aboard spill or leak into the water.

“We strongly urge the public to make preparations in light of the forecasted weather,” said Capt. Greg Stump, commander, Coast Guard Sector San Francisco. “During big weather events we often receive reports of adrift kayaks, dinghies and other vessels. We treat each as a possible distress case and launch our crews to investigate. Exercising an ounce of prevention prior to a storm can potentially mitigate loss of property, prevent marine pollution and keep rescue crews focused on people truly in distress and needing assistance.”

The Coast Guard recommends the public keep advised of the storm system through the National Weather Service http://ift.tt/1vcI2t7, and monitor channel 16 VHF-FM for the most current safety advisories.

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