Coast Guard urges spectators exercise caution during Mavericks Surf Competition

SAN FRANCISCO – The Coast Guard urges all spectators to exercise caution during Mavericks Surf Competition held at Pillar Point, Calif., Saturday.

The National Weather Service has issued a high surf advisory for the northern California coastline beginning Friday evening until 10 a.m. Saturday morning. A strong northwesterly swell will produce surf of 15 to 18 feet.

The Coast Guard along with the Pillar Point Harbor Patrol and Coast Guard Auxiliary will have increased assets in the region during the surf competition. All shoreline spectators are reminded to keep a safe distance from the waterline as strong rip currents will be present. Spectators should also keep a safe distance from rugged cliffs where they may find themselves unable to return to safe ground.

Spectators planning to view the event from the water should remain aware of changing surf conditions and ensure their vessel is equipped with the proper safety equipment. All vessels in the area should remain a safe distance from the event, adhere to all navigation rules of the road and practice good seamanship.

All boaters are reminded there should be a personal flotation device aboard their vessel for each person, sized accordingly and a working marine VHF radio to contact the Coast Guard on channel 16, should an emergency arise. The Coast Guard reminds all mariners that channel 16 is an emergency frequency and should be used for such. Misuse of channel 16 or broadcasting false distress calls can result in prison time, severe fines and you could be liable for any costs incurred as a result of search efforts.

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