ALAMEDA, Calif. — The Coast Guard urges recreational mariners to limit waterside activity due to winter storm forecasts calling for hazardous seas and strong winds Thursday and Friday.
With winds expected to exceed 30 mph and gusts of 50 mph, boaters should check local weather conditions and consider limiting underway time until the strong winds and heavy seas subside.
The hazardous weather began Thursday and is expected to continue through Friday. As a result, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has issued a wind advisory warning for Northern California and a lake wind advisory for Lake Tahoe.
The latest weather information can be found at the National Weather Service website at https://www.weather.gov/mtr/.
The Coast Guard recommends that mariners take the following precautions:
- Recreational boaters, personal watercraft, and paddlecraft 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 false distress; be sure to label paddlecraft and gear with owner contact information correctly.
- 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 the internet. Check the current and expected weather and water conditions before heading out.
- File a float plan with a family member or friend, including information about the boat, the number of passengers aboard, the destination of where the boat will be operating, and an expected return time.
- 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 than ashore.
Additionally, beachgoers should heed the following safety tips:
- Stay off coastal jetties, and never turn your back to the ocean
- The Coast Guard urges swimmers, surfers, and windsurfers to stay out of the water during this period of heavy weather due to increased risk caused by rip currents and sneaker waves.