Coast Guard warns of forecasted heavy weather in Northern California

Coast Guard Station Golden Gate crewmembers conduct surf training aboard two 47-foot motor lifeboats off the Ocean Beach area of San Francisco Nov. 10, 2016. The training allows crews to hone their heavy-weather rescue skills. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Cory J. Mendenhall.

Coast Guard Station Golden Gate crewmembers conduct surf training off the Ocean Beach area of San Francisco. U.S. Coast Guard file photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Cory J. Mendenhall.

ALAMEDA, Calif. — The Coast Guard urges recreational mariners to limit waterside activity due to heavy weather forecasts calling for hazardous seas and strong winds Wednesday and Thursday.

With winds expected to exceed 25 mph and gusts of 45 mph, boaters should check local weather conditions and consider limiting underway time until the strong winds and heavy seas subside.

The hazardous weather began Wednesday and is expected to continue through Thursday. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has issued a gale warning, small craft advisory, hazardous seas warning for Northern California and lake wind advisory for Lake Tahoe.

The latest weather information can be found at the National Weather Service website at

The Coast Guard recommends that mariners take the following precautions:

  • Recreational boaters, personal watercraft and paddle craft users are advised to stay off the water due to hazardous wind and sea conditions
  • Secure all paddlecraft so they do not end up in the water and cause a false distress; be sure paddlecraft and gear are properly labeled with owner contact information
  • Check mooring lines when securing boats and take precautions for items stored loosely aboard
  • Stay informed and aware of weather conditions and monitor the progress and strength of currents through local television, radio and internet. Check the current and expected weather and water conditions before heading out
  • File a float plan with a family member or friend, which includes information about the boat, the number of passengers aboard, the destination of where the boat will be operating and an expected time of return
  • Have a working marine-band radio and use VHF-FM channel 16 in the event of an emergency
  • Always wear a properly fitting life jacket when on the water and dress for temperatures at sea, which are typically significantly colder temperatures than ashore

Additionally, beachgoers should heed the following safety tips:

  • Stay off coastal jetties and never turn your back to the ocean
  • 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

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