The U.S. Coast Guard is asking beachgoers in the San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas to be cautious in and near the ocean Sunday, Coast Guard officials said.
Rip currents and large breaking waves are forecast through this evening at west and northwest facing beaches from Sonoma County to Monterey County, according to the Coast Guard.
Rip currents are “narrow channels of fast-moving water” that move faster than an Olympic swimmer, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
An estimated 100 people die each year in rip currents, NOAA officials said.
Strong rip currents are usually more common and stronger near jetties, piers and inlets, Coast Guard officials said.
The officials are encouraging people to swim near lifeguards and if caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore to escape the current before swimming in.
Coast Guard officials are also urging boaters to be cautious because of large swells forecast for the Sonoma County to Monterey County shoreline.
“We encourage all boaters and beachgoers to remain especially cautious on and near the water today,” Lt. Wes Geyer, command duty officer at Coast Guard Sector San Francisco, said. “We stand ready to respond if boaters and beachgoers find themselves in distress.”