USCG Urges Caution With High Surf and Small Craft Warnings in Effect

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Guam – The National Weather Service issued a Small Craft Advisory for Hazardous Seas for north and west facing reefs until Thursday morning. Beginning tonight through all of Tuesday surf is predicted to be at its highest with swells expected to rise to 10 or 11 feet. Wednesday into Thursday, swells will remain high continuing to rise no less than 8 to 9 feet.   

A Small Craft Advisory for Hazardous Seas means that waves along affected reefs will be higher than normal, making it exceptionally dangerous for small vessels and swimmers. For Guam, the National Weather Service will issue this warning when seas are expected to be 10 feet or above.  

U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam urges inexperienced and experienced beach-goers alike to use caution while in the water and stay away from the reef lines. In areas with high surf, swimmers may have difficulty returning to shore because of the increased speed of rip currents. The strength and speed of a rip current will likely increase as wave height and wave period increases. Rip currents are especially dangerous as they have the potential to pull a swimmer out several hundred yards from shore and beyond the reef line. On Guam, rip currents can be found anywhere there is a break in the reef line. If in doubt, don’t go out!  

For the boating public, if you must go out, ensure that you are wearing an appropriate personal flotation device (PFD) and have a means of signaling for help should you be in distress. Another smart and safe step to take is filing a float plan which can be as easy as telling someone who is not a part of your activity on the water where you are leaving from, where you intend to go and when you will return. This information is invaluable to the Coast Guard in planning a Search and Rescue (SAR) operation should you not return on time.  

To report any maritime emergency please call the Sector Guam Command Center at 671-564-USCG