Coast Guard warns of strong swells, rip currents along ocean front today

Affected areas range from northwest-facing beaches from Sonoma County to the Monterey Bay

U.S. Coast Guard officials are urging Bay Area boaters and

beachgoers to take caution while along the coast today because of a forecast of strong swells.

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. "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.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

— Bay City News Service

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