Coast Guard urges Bay Area residents to exercise caution ahead of heavy weather

A 'no swimming' sign warns the public of heavy surf conditions .

A ‘no swimming’ sign warns the public of heavy surf conditions .

SAN FRANCISCO — The Coast Guard encourages boaters and beachgoers to exercise caution in the San Francisco Bay Area and along the Northern California coast as high winds and rough seas are forecasted to impact the region through late Wednesday.

The public is advised to stay off the water and avoid hazardous conditions near beaches, jetties and rivers as the storm is forecasted to cause gale-force winds with gusts up to 60 mph and breaking surf up to six feet.

“In preparation for the anticipated upcoming weather, the Coast Guard urges everyone to exercise caution on the water and along the coast, and to only be there if absolutely necessary,” said Lt. Christen Shih, Coast Guard Sector San Francisco Force Readiness Chief. “A forecasted storm like this can bring numerous hazards such as rough seas, bad visibility and high winds, which make for dangerous situations for those who don’t necessarily need to be out in that environment.”

Mariners and beachgoers are encouraged to take the following precautions to protect themselves and their vessels:

  • Monitor the weather and heed all marine warnings as they are updated on marine radio VHF-FM channel 16.
  • Check mooring lines when securing boats and take precautions for items stored loosely aboard.
  • Secure all paddle craft so they do not end up in the water and cause a false distress; be sure paddle craft and gear are properly labeled with owner contact information.
  • Recreational boaters, personal watercraft and paddle craft users are advised to stay off the water due to hazardous sea conditions.
  • Swimmers, surfers and wind surfers are urged to stay out of the water during this period of heavy weather due to increased risk caused by rip currents and sneaker waves.
  • If mariners get underway, they should create a float plan and send it to friends and families before getting underway. Float plans consists of a description of the vessel, the number of people aboard, the destination and the expected return time.
  • Always wear a proper life jacket when on the water and dress for temperatures at sea which are typically significantly colder temperatures than ashore.
  • Be alert and report any accidents, emergencies or distress situations via VHF radio channel 16 or by calling 911.

For more information about the weather forecast, visit the National Weather Service.

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