Boaters Warned of Potentially Hazardous Conditions

LOS ANGELES – The National Weather Service is warning of possible “unsettled weather with potentially hazardous boating conditions possible through Sunday afternoon. A small craft advisory has been issued.” The Coast Guard strongly urges boaters to exercise extreme caution during this time.

According to the National Weather Service a storm system is expected to arrive over the coastal waters sometime this afternoon and linger into Saturday evening. The storm may generate gusty winds with the possibility of thunderstorms. Increasing seas are expected over the coastal waters tonight. A large northwest swell is expected to build up to 14 feet by Saturday night over the outer waters and up to 8 feet across the inner waters.

Boaters who plan on venturing out should take extra precautions to ensure their own safety.

“Recreational boating is not advisable for the next couple of days. Those who do plan on boating should tell someone where they are going, and make sure they have their required safety equipment such as lifejackets for everyone on board and signal flares,” said Anthony Turner, spokesman for Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach.

The Coast Guard suggests boaters also equip their boats with GPS, a marine VHF radio, and 406 Mhz Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB). “Often boaters in distress will rely on their cell phones. Coverage off shore can be unreliable. With a marine VHF radio boaters in distress can contact the Coast Guard on channel 16. We have someone listening to that channel 24-hours a day,” said Turner.

The most current marine forecast is available on the National Weather Service web site at http://www.weather.gov/. Boating safety requirements and education information can be found at http://www.uscgboating.org/.

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