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Press Release | Jan. 9, 2024

U.S. Coast Guard urges preparedness as hazardous maritime conditions approach

TILLAMOOK BAY, Ore. (Dec. 14) -- Bow shot of a Coast Guard 47-ft. motor lifboat practicing surf drills in 25-ft. waves. Search and rescue coxwains train in heavy surf to maintain their proficiency in heavy weather to be always ready to assist a mariner in distress.USCG photo by BM1 Christopher Enoksen

SEATTLE – The U.S. Coast Guard is actively monitoring and preparing for the impact of hazardous maritime conditions in Washington and Oregon waters. Strong winds through the coastal waters and high surf conditions with large breakers will create hazardous conditions along the coast. Our primary concern is the safety and well-being of the public, and we urge all mariners and members of the public in the region to take precautions to ensure their safety.

Safety Tips for the Mariners and the Public:
. Stay Informed: Stay updated with the latest weather forecasts and advisories. Monitor the National Weather Service forecasts for Washington and Oregon.

. Monitor port restrictions and bar reports by visiting
. Secure Your Boat: Boat owners should ensure their vessels are properly secured or relocated to a safe location. Double-check mooring lines, anchorages, and dock cleats to prevent damage or loss of boats.
. Stay Away from the Shoreline: Avoid going near beaches, cliffs, and other shoreline areas during the storm. Dangerous sneaker waves, rip currents, and high winds can create hazardous conditions.

Preparing for hazardous marine conditions: Vessels in the storm
. If you cannot evade a storm, wear a life jacket and know how to activate your distress signaling devices, including a VH-FM radio

. If you are in an emergency and in need of Coast Guard assistance, use: VHF-FM radio, channel 16 or dial 911

. If you are in a vessel and see signs of bad weather, seek shelter. While en route to shelter, tie down loose objects on the boat and prepare passengers for possible rough water, heavy rains and high winds. Have all aboard put on life jackets, including pets. Do not let passengers below deck remove their life jackets.
. If you get into trouble, call for help immediately. Ideally, you should have an EPIRB on board and a VHF marine radio. Keep in touch with the Coast Guard or anyone you can reach so someone knows your location and assistance can be sent if needed and when possible.
. Carry life rafts on board large vessels. If the boat sinks, board the life raft, stay with it and tether passengers together. Keep moving slowly to keep circulation and body temperature up and avoid overexertion.

People in distress can dial 911 for emergency assistance and can contact the Coast Guard through VHF-FM radio channel 16 or by calling one of our command centers: Columbia River 833-769-8724 or Puget Sound 206-217-6001. We recommend saving these numbers before going out to sea. Social media should not be used to report life-threatening distress due to limited resources to monitor the dozens of social media platforms.