Coast Guard closes seasonal station at Bandon, Ore.

SEATTLE — The Coast Guard has closed a seasonal search and rescue detachment station on the Coquille River in Bandon, Ore., Monday.

The detachment opens seasonally from Memorial Day until Labor Day due to increased boating traffic during the summer months and hazardous river bar conditions.

Mariners are advised that the river entrances will not be covered by immediate emergency response with the exception of certain weekends when anticipated boating traffic may be higher.

Strong currents, shallow depths and waves that break in seemingly calm conditions combine to make the entrance to Coquille River one of the most dangerous on the Oregon coast.

The Coast Guard reminds mariners of a few safety tips for when you venture out on the water.

  • Everyone should wear an appropriate life jacket at all times. In an emergency, such as a capsizing, you will not have time to put one on.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings and location in relation to hazards. Watch for changes in the ocean or bar conditions.
  • Know the current weather, predicted weather and tides and currents. Observe the entrance for a while from land or from a boat in safe water well inside the entrance before attempting to cross the bar.
  • Mariners may contact Station Coos Bay at 541 888-3267 or listen to 1610 AM to find out about weather conditions and any vessel restrictions.
  • Ensure you have all safety gear onboard in good working condition. Examples include: VHF radio and flares for communicating distress, an adequate anchor with plenty of line capable of solidly anchoring your vessel in safe water in the event of engine failure. Know how to use all your safety equipment before you need it in a real emergency.

Knowledge, awareness, preparation and life jackets are the first steps to a safe day on the water.

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