San Francisco Bay

San Francisco Bay is the gateway to many water sports plus seven busy commercial ports traversed by large deep draft vessels such as cargo ships, container ships, oil tankers and cruise ships. Gliding alongside them are tug boats, power boats, sailboats, sailboards, kiteboards, paddle boards, kayaks and other small boats, including the recently launched bicycleboard. 

As the water board sports have become more popular on the Bay, the Coast Guard and local affiliates have had to rescue over 250 recreational sport vehicles or boards just this last year. Many of these cases could have been avoided with attention to simple safety guidelines and an understanding of the dynamic and constant changing winds and tides in the San Francisco Bay. These rescues are due to strandings on the shoreline or out at sea due to injury, fatigue, equipment failure, strong tides, currents, winds or loss of wind.

Currently the law dictates that crafts less than 20’ have no right away next to larger vessels. Read more.  

TIPS For Board Safety In SF Bay

  • Always wear personal flotation devices (PFDs)
  • Carry a handheld VHF radio & flares in case of emergency
  • Mark your equipment with reflective tape for nighttime logistics
  • Notify someone you trust the time period you expect to be out and return