The U.S. Coast Guard and the National Weather Service have developed a website to provide coastal boaters with weather and Coast Guard observations to evaluate bar restrictions and conditions.
The website gives boaters a place to see not only the entrance or bar through updated camera images, but also the Coast Guard’s evaluation of the bar conditions and any restrictions that may be in place.
“This is an excellent tool for the mariner,” Dan Shipman, recreational boating safety specialist for the 13th Coast Guard District in Seattle, said in a prepared statement. “Mariners can use this report, as well as tidal and other weather information to evaluate sea conditions to assist them in making a decision on their safety and ability to cross a coastal bar.”
Prior to the creation of the website, boaters had to rely on getting this information via a recorded phone message, scheduled Notice to Mariners safety information broadcasts or through a low-power AM radio broadcast on Channel 1610 in the local harbor areas. While these methods of notification will still operate, the website allows boaters to get the information in virtually any location. The website also contains important links to other National Weather Service information.
Although this information is provided to help a mariner make sound decisions, it is not a substitute for experience, Shipman said. The Coast Guard urges all mariners to take a boater education course and wear a Coast Guard-approved lifejacket when crossing coastal river entrances.
Check it out
Mariners can access the website at wrh.noaa.gov/pqr/marine/bars_mover.php.