Coast Guard urges caution for hazardous ocean and beach conditions

national weather serviceSAN FRANCISCO — The Coast Guard is urging vessel owners, operators, divers and beachgoers to exercise caution in and around the waters due to high surf and strong winds that will be affecting the Bay Area this weekend.

The shoreline from Point Reyes south to Big Sur are expecting 10-foot swells. Large waves can impact the beach with little or no warning and drag a person offshore in a matter of seconds. Swift and strong undercurrents, combined with cold water temperatures, make it nearly impossible to survive. The Coast Guard recommends that during this period of high surf, beachgoers remain clear of the beach foreshore where waves make landfall.

In the event that your vessel or someone aboard your vessel is in distress, call the Coast Guard on a VHF-FM radio or call Coast Guard Sector San Francisco Command Center at 415-399-3451.  If you see someone get swept out to sea, do not attempt to rescue him or her by entering the water – call 911 immediately.

Dog owners are reminded to not attempt to rescue their dog from a surf zone.  Dogs are usually able to swim out on their own.  For more information on how to protect your pets, please visit

Please visit the National Weather Service’s web page at for specific information regarding the exact times and locations these advisories are in effect.

The Coast Guard offers the following safety tips on the water:

* Stay Informed – Be aware of weather conditions and monitor the progress and strength of storms through local television, radio and internet. Be aware that weather conditions can change quickly. Check the current and expected weather and water conditions before heading out.

*When recreating on the water, whether boating or kayaking, paddle boarding, or kite and wind surfing, always have VHF-FM radio. Mobile phones may not be reliable on the water, and the Coast Guard has the ability to determine your general location when you call with a VHF-FM marine-band radio, which can effect a quick response when mariners are in distress.

*Wear life jackets while on the water.

*File a float plan with friends, family members or local marinas before heading out. A float plan should include contact information, the number of passengers, the vessel’s destination and expected time of return.

*Do not boat under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances, because it can impair your judgment, vision, balance and coordination. Boat motion, vibration, engine noise, sun, wind and spray can accelerate impairment.

*Keep children informed of water safety. The Coast Guard encourages educating children on water safety. For more information on boating safety for kids, visit

*Divers should evaluate their own physical condition as well as that of their equipment, never dive alone, and be willing to cancel their diving plans and choose another activity if ocean conditions are too rough.

For more information on how to protect your pets, please visit

For more information on the current weather conditions please refer to the following links:

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