Debris floating in San Francisco Bay causing big problems for ferry service

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The Coast Guard issued a warning on Wednesday about the hazards in the San Francisco Bay as a direct result of our recent storms. (KGO-TV)

The Coast Guard issued a warning on Wednesday about the hazards in the San Francisco Bay as a direct result of our recent storms.

The next time your ferry it late, it could be because they hit something. Ferry officials say it was a very challenging winter.

The bay is a mess. A mass of floating debris was visible near the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge on Wednesday. Clusters like these are clogging the waters from here to Angel Island and Alcatraz.

Experts say all the rain we have had is to blame - our ferries are the ones paying the price.

"Four vessels that have had propellers bent, and in some cases had to be replaced. In three other cases, the water jets have sucked in debris and we've had to stall and stop and get that debris out of the water jet engine," Water Emergency Transportation Authority spokesperson Ernest Sanchez said.

Personal watercrafts have also been damaged. It's so bad, the Coast Guard issued an official warning to watch out for the junk and to make sure your stuff doesn't become part of the problem.

"We really encourage boaters to make sure that their vessels are secure, double check their mooring lines. Even small craft -- make sure kayaks, canoes, paddle boards. Make sure those are secured. Any gear that's along the banks. Make sure you've got all of that secured otherwise it could become marine debris," U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Megan Mervar said.



The higher water levels and faster currents have pushed debris downstream. It's not just trash but also a lot of plant matter and logs.

RELATED: Massive cleanup underway after Bay Area storm

Some ferry routes have been delayed or even canceled, with buses having to take their place.

Officials say there's not much we can do but try to steer around it and to wait.

"We haven't had situation like this for a while because our rains have been light. But now that we're back into a rainy season, which is great, we do have this issue to work through. And it will eventually work itself out," Sanchez said.

Sanchez says we have to fight the urge to do housekeeping, that Mother Nature will handle it and eventually move all of this out of there.

Related Topics:
newswaterbay areaboatsboatingboating safetyenvironmentstorm damagestormrainwindwind damageSan Francisco
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