The U.S. Coast Guard is asking boardsport and kayak enthusiasts to exercise safe and responsible practices when sporting on San Francisco Bay.
According to the Coast Guard, Bay Area emergency agencies responded to more than 250 search and rescue cases in 2012 that involved kiteboarding, windsurfing, paddleboarding or kayaking.
An increase in the popularity of these sports translates to a rising trend in the number of individuals requiring assistance, Coast Guard Capt. Gregory Stump said in a statement.
“I urge all boardsport and kayak enthusiasts to take precautions for their safety, the safety of other waterway users, and the safety of Coast Guard personnel that may be called upon to come rescue you.”
Boarders and kayakers should wear a personal flotation device, carry a handheld VHF radio, mark gear with reflective tape, and notify someone where and when you are going, Stump said.
It is also important to stay mindful of prevailing and forecasted winds, tides and currents, he said.
“Our goal is to ensure everyone can return home safely to their families,” Stump said.