Coast Guard warns of strong swells at Bay Area beaches

In this Dec. 13, 2014, photo, big wave surfer Bianca Valenti surfs off of Ocean Beach in San Francisco. Women surfers want the right to compete in the Maverick’s surf contest’s monstrous waves south of San Francisco. The California Coastal Commission recently gave a boost to their campaign to break the gender barrier when it told organizers they better have a plan for including women if they want a permit to hold the invitational event next year. (Scott Strazzante/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Bay Area boaters and beachgoers are being warned to take caution while along the coast today because of a forecast of strong swells, said officials with the U.S. Coast Guard.

Very strong rip currents and large shore breaks are expected at all west- or northwest-facing beaches from Sonoma County all the way down to the Monterey Bay, according to the Coast Guard.

“Boaters and beachgoers should be especially cautious on and near the water over the next several days,” Petty Officer 1st Class Jess LaRue said in a statement. “We’re ready to respond if boaters and beachgoers find themselves in distress.”

Coast Guard officials encourage boaters to always have a working VHF-FM radio and lifejackets for all passengers and to file a float plan with friends, family members or a local marina before heading on the water.

People taking their dogs to the beach should make sure to protect them from large waves and to not try to rescue the dog if it’s in a surf zone, according to the Coast Guard.

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