High Winds, Waves Forecast For Memorial Day Weekend

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The National Weather Service has issued a gale warning now through Friday afternoon for the area from Point Reyes to Pigeon Point, to 20 miles offshore, and a small craft advisory through Thursday night.

The forecast calls for northwest winds from 45-60 miles per hour with combined seas of 12-17 feet for Thursday, growing to 13-18 feet by the evening. The winds are forecasted to decrease to 30-45 miles per hour with combined seas of 15-21 feet.

There are high winds and seas forecasted through the Memorial Day weekend, expected to decrease as we move towards Monday.

The Coast Guard urges boaters to remain aware of changing conditions, and to ensure that their vessel is in good condition, and that all safety equipment is onboard and operational.

Mariners should have flotation devices for each person onboard. Even though air temperatures may be warmer, water temperatures average 50-55 degrees year round in the Bay Area, and boaters are encouraged to have dry suits, or other full-body thermal protection onboard.

Boaters should also have an operational marine VHF radio on their boat in order to contact the Coast Guard on channel 16, in the event an emergency. Due to the high mountainous areas throughout the region, boaters are asked not to rely on cell phones as a means of communication. In order to expedite the Coast Guard’s response in an emergency, mariners should have a GPS unit onboard, or at a minimum maintain a knowledge of local waters, and know your location at all times. The Coast Guard reminds radio operators that VHF channel 16 is an emergency channel, and that improper transmission on channel 16 not only hampers Coast Guard response, but is also punishable under federal law.

Prior to taking to the water, boaters are encouraged to go to http://uscgboating.org/ for more complete information on safe boating. The Coast Guard also highly recommends boaters get a free vessel-safety inspection from the Coast Guard Auxiliary. More information on these inspections can be found at http://www.vesselsafetycheck.org/. A few minutes now could save a life later.

Current weather information and advisories can be found on the National Weather Service web site.

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