Coast Guard urges caution ahead of heavy weather along California coast

Coast Guard Station Golden Gate 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crews conduct surf training near Ocean Beach in San Francisco, California, Dec. 13, 2018. The crews train in high surf to ensure they are prepared to respond to maritime emergencies during rough weather conditions. (Coast Guard photo by Seaman Ryan Estrada)

Coast Guard Station Golden Gate 47-foot Motor Lifeboat file photo by Seaman Ryan Estrada

SAN FRANCISCO — The Coast Guard encourages mariners and beachgoers to prepare for high winds and seas forecasted for the California coast starting Tuesday afternoon.

Some areas are expected to see gale-force winds at 50 mph and up to 35-foot breaking surf.

“The last thing we want to happen over the holiday is for someone to be lost at sea while boating or visiting one of our beautiful beaches,” said Capt. Art Snyder, the 11th Coast Guard District chief of response. “Please watch out for friends and family who may not know how dangerous the ocean can be and help them stay safe. It would be best for boaters to avoid getting underway during these storms, and beachgoers should find a safe position away from the shoreline if they want to see the ocean or watch the waves.”

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

  • Monitor the weather and heed all marine/weather warnings
  • Double-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
  • Recreational boaters, personal watercraft and paddle craft users are advised to stay off the water due to hazardous sea conditions
  • Stay off rocks and jetties, as waves can be unpredictable
  • If mariners get underway, they should create a float plan and send it to friends and families before getting underway, which consists of a description of the vessel, the number of people aboard, the destination and the expected return time.
  • Always wear a properly fitting life jacket when on the water and use VHF-FM channel 16 to notify rescuers in the event of an emergency

For more information about this week’s forecast, visit the National Weather Service at

If you have any problems viewing this article, please report it here.