U.S. Coast Guard Urges Beach Safety During Storm

SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Coast Guard is recommending that the public avoid area beaches this weekend as a severe storm is predicted to hit California. Walking on beaches near heavy, unpredictable surf increases the chances of being pulled into the ocean and out to sea by rogue waves.

People are also cautioned to stay clear and away from rocky terrain near the water. Walking near or on slippery rocks, jetties and sandbars can result in individuals falling into the water, or being caught off guard by waves and rough seas and being swept away from land. These are common areas for rogue waves, rising tides and increased currents during storms.

Heavy surf and rough seas can create rip currents. If you become caught in a rip current, do not panic. Swim parallel to the shore to release yourself from the current and to conserve valuable energy.

Walking on or near cliffs should also be avoided, as heavy rain can saturate the ground making it unstable and unpredictable.

The National Weather Service is predicting heavy rainfall tonight with wind gusts up to 60 miles per hour and heavy surfs.

The Coast Guard also recommends boaters to avoid going out during the storm. If you must go out, make sure you have the proper signaling equipment, a VHF radio, and personal flotation devices. All boaters should have an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) onboard. This piece of equipment can be activated when in distress and provides an accurate position of your location on the water to the Coast Guard.

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