Coast Guard urges caution ahead of heavy weather along Northern California coast

A 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew from Coast Guard Station Humboldt Bay (U.S. Coast Guard file photo by Cmdr. Brendan Hilleary/released)

A 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew from Coast Guard Station Humboldt Bay (U.S. Coast Guard file photo by Cmdr. Brendan Hilleary)

MCKINLEYVILLE, Calif. — The Coast Guard encourages mariners and beachgoers to exercise caution along the Northern California coast as high winds and rough seas are forecasted to impact coastal Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties through late Thursday.

The public is advised to stay off the water and avoid hazardous conditions near beaches and jetties, as the storm is forecasted to cause gale-force winds with gusts up to 65 mph and breaking surf up to 30 feet.

“We advise smaller vessels to remain in port or take shelter,” said Capt. Greg Fuller, the Coast Guard Sector Humboldt Bay commander. “Commercial vessels should prepare for rough seas and consider remaining in port until the hazardous conditions subside.”

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 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
  • 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, which 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 use VHF-FM channel 16 to notify rescuers in the event of an emergency.

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

The Coast Guard continues operations authorized by law that provide for national security or that protect life and property during partial government shutdowns; however, there are some impacts to our day-to-day operations. The Coast Guard stops or curtails mission activities that do not fall into those categories. Coast Guard uniformed personnel will continue to perform their duties during a partial government shutdown and will provide essential services such as search and rescue, port and homeland safety and security, law enforcement and environmental response.

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