Coast Guard urges caution to boaters, swimmers

January 17, 2010 2:56:04 PM PST
The U.S. Coast Guard is urging boaters and swimmers to avoid taking to the water over the next several days as powerful winter storms hit the California coast.

Forecasters say the storms will bring significant rainfall, strong winds and ocean swells reaching 25 feet over the next week.

The Coast Guard is strongly recommending people to avoid going near beaches or other low-lying coastal areas because of danger from large waves.

Boaters are being encouraged to check their mooring and anchor lines to prevent their vessels from coming loose during the storms.

If it is necessary to travel offshore, the Coast Guard says mariners should check their safety equipment and leave a "float plan" with a friend or family member.