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Coast Guard issues dangerous storm warning

January 20, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
As the third of four powerful storms swept into Southern California Wednesday, the Coast Guard issued a storm warning, urging people to be aware of storm related, dangerous conditions along the coastline.

The Coast Guard strongly recommends that everyone stay clear of the ocean with its high waves, and pounding surf, until the worst of the storm is over.

The storm warning, a high wind warning and small craft advisories are expected to remain in effect until late Wednesday night.

A storm warning means winds of 40 to 62 nautical miles an hour are buffeting the coastal area or are expected soon.

During a storm warning, the Coast Guard says recreational boaters should remain in port or take shelter until winds and waves subside. Commercial vessels are told to prepare for strong winds and potential damaging sea conditions. Commercial boat operators are advised to consider staying in port or taking shelter until conditions improve.

Anyone who ventures out onto the ocean is advised to make sure all of their safety equipment is working properly.

The Coast Guard is also advising all boat owners and operators to check their mooring and anchoring arrangements to make sure they are secure. Strong winds and heavy seas can break vessels free from their moorings. Worn lines, not enough lines or an improperly sized anchor can lead to mooring problems.

Vessels that have broken loose pose hazards to people and other boats. They can also pose environmental hazards as fluids, fuels or chemicals aboard can spill or leak.