Coast Guard urges caution to Bay Area boaters and beachgoers along California coast

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 urges Bay Area boaters and beachgoers to take caution while along the coast due to strong swells and increased risk of sneaker waves, Tuesday.

Strong rip currents and large shore breaks are expected along the coast from Sonoma County to the Monterey Bay, including Ocean Beach, Montara State Beach, Half Moon Bay State Beach, Manresa State Beach, Monastery Beach and Marina State Beach.

“Boaters and beachgoers should be especially cautious on and near the water over the next several days,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Jess LaRue. “We’re ready to respond if boaters and beachgoers find themselves in distress.”

In the event of a distress, contact the Coast Guard via VHF-FM channel 16 or via phone at (415) 399-3530. If someone gets swept out to sea, call 911 immediately and do not attempt to rescue them by entering the water.

People taking their dogs to the beach should make sure to protect them from large waves and to not try to rescue the dog if it’s in a surf zone, as dogs are usually able to swim out on their own.

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

  • Stay off coastal jetties and never turn your back to the ocean.
  • 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 a VHF-FM radio. Mobile phones may not be reliable on the water, and the Coast Guard has the ability to determine a person’s general location when they receive a call with a VHF-FM marine-band radio.
  • Wear life jackets while on the water.
  • File a float plan with family, friends 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, as it can impair judgment, vision, balance and coordination. Boat motion, vibration, engine noise, sun, wind and spray can accelerate impairment.
  • Keep children informed of water safety.
  • Divers should evaluate their own physical condition as well as that of their equipment. Never dive alone and be willing to cancel diving plans and choose another activity if ocean conditions are too rough.

For more information on weather advisories, please visit the National Weather Service.


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