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Old 06-28-2020, 07:51 AM   #1
bllelk
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Default Oregon Coast Guard Stations

I was talking to my kid about bar closings. He is the boss at USCG Station Oregon Inlet which oddly enough, is on the N.C. Outer Banks. He told me Oregon is the only place where they can regulate bar crossings. I didn't know that. Did any of you guys? Everywhere else they can only advise boaters about conditions and then go pick up the pieces. They are really, really busy. When we were out there a few years ago we saw people heading out on the big blue in 12 ft. skiffs.
Don't know about you but I'm glad the CG on our coast has a little more authority to slow us down.

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Old 06-28-2020, 08:35 AM   #2
Don G Baldi
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Default Re: Oregon Coast Guard Stations

That sounds familiar. Think maybe Dan, the Coast Guard Man, mentioned that one when replying to a post. We're special up here in the Pacific Northwest.
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Old 06-28-2020, 09:22 AM   #3
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Default Re: Oregon Coast Guard Stations

It is only the coastal bars of the 13th CG District (Washington and Oregon) that have the federal regulations. Here is the law: https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/33/165.1325
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Old 06-28-2020, 09:31 AM   #4
SouthernCharm
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Default Re: Oregon Coast Guard Stations

yeah, took getting used to here when you are used to making the decision on your own. I think one of the main reasons is that we have (bars) river outlets compared to bay entrances where the water volume and run is spread out over a couple of ocean inlets (bar entrances). Both can and are very dangerous.
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Old 06-28-2020, 09:37 AM   #5
sprigdog
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Default Re: Oregon Coast Guard Stations

I’m not a big fan of closures. Lots of places around the country get nasty on their bars/inlets and they let boaters be adults and choose to cross.
They put restrictions on the bars for the guy who bought a boat yesterday.
Then they forget to update every 3 hours(sometimes)
They over restrict and often under restrict(more dangerous)
You have 20’ jon boats with no freeboard and you have 20’ Arimas with cabins and buoyancy.

Ridiculous. The purpose has merit, similar to helmet laws and seat belt laws.
PacNW bars are very dangerous.

So is Ponce Inlet, Fl, Hatteras NC, Humboldt Ca,
Ocean city MD, etc etc.
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Old 06-29-2020, 05:51 PM   #6
ron m
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Default Re: Oregon Coast Guard Stations

In the 16 years I've had Silverfish there have been only a few times when I thought the restriction was way off, few meaning 5 or less. I've twice gone to the YBCG station and talked with them about two of those times and felt like they listened to my concerns and both times I thought that the accuracy of the restrictions improved. They are human and sometimes they are going to get it wrong for some reason, occasionally they are really busy and that may be why it happens. Like it or not, it's the law that they are responsible for setting bar restrictions and they use length of boats as the way to set restrictions.

From what I've heard over the years, the relationship we have with the CG is much better than the relationship rec boaters have with them in most other places. One thing for sure, after living in Fla and boating in both the Allantic and the gulf of Mexico, neither is anything like the Pacific off our shores. The "passes" I used to access the Atlantic and the GoM were nothing compared to crossing a bar in OR. Our average all depth halibut day in May would be no-go conditions for most sport boats in Fla simply because they have so many days per year with wonderful boating conditions.
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Old 06-29-2020, 06:08 PM   #7
Don G Baldi
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Default Re: Oregon Coast Guard Stations

Had an interesting trip out of LI. Down at 3 Arches they announced the bar going from unrestricted to 40' in 20 minutes. Made it in minutes before the restriction went into effect and I agree with the 40'. By the time I got to the dock they dropped the restriction back to none. ????? So I ran back out to the jaws and it still looked like a 40' would be appropriate.

Ran back to the dock and walked over to talk with the CG. Got to the only door on that side of the parking area and walked in on the parmedics??? They told me the CG operation was over the highway somewhere. OK. Went back out and managed to collect my crab pots after the bar settled down a bit.
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Old 06-29-2020, 06:32 PM   #8
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Default Re: Oregon Coast Guard Stations

I am from Los Angeles the Santa Monica bay is great 340 days a year for a small boat 18 ft is what I had. The farther Norte you go the worse it gets Ventura up to Monterey can get nasty but no CG will stop you! North to Canada can get really nasty conditions only large boats should even attempt it most of the time, most of Oregon Coast is really rough most of the time. We lost a great couple and experienced Captain last night in Florence great people and he knew that bar very well! RIP
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Old 06-29-2020, 06:57 PM   #9
flynbryn
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Default Re: Oregon Coast Guard Stations

Quote:
Originally Posted by bllelk View Post
I was talking to my kid about bar closings. He is the boss at USCG Station Oregon Inlet which oddly enough, is on the N.C. Outer Banks. He told me Oregon is the only place where they can regulate bar crossings. I didn't know that. Did any of you guys? Everywhere else they can only advise boaters about conditions and then go pick up the pieces. They are really, really busy. When we were out there a few years ago we saw people heading out on the big blue in 12 ft. skiffs.

Don't know about you but I'm glad the CG on our coast has a little more authority to slow us down.
Bllelk, my cousin is currently one of the surfmen at the Oregon Inlet station in N.C. Small world.

We took a vacation out there a few years back to visit him and his family. It is really interesting to see and hear about the differences between bar crossing on the East coast vs. West coast. From my cousins experience he shares that they both definitely have there challenges.


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Old 06-30-2020, 08:30 AM   #10
USCGBoating
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Default Re: Oregon Coast Guard Stations

Here is some history on the topic. There is two things that can happen when a bar becomes hazardous. What you consider closing is really a restriction to vessels under a certain length. A closure is when the conditions exceed the capabilities of the CG Vessels to safely respond. As of this year the Coast Guard 11th District has entered into rule making to have the authority to close coastal bars, under my pervious definition, from Morrow Bay to Crescent City. I don't know where that process is at of now but it may be coming.


The restriction process has been in regulation since 1972 for the Oregon and Washington coasts. Prior to that there were numerous fatal accident on the bars annually and this was put into place to try and stop the loss of life. Clear back then to about the mid 1990's we would place a boat out on the bar (bar patrol) from just before sunrise until the afternoon when the majority of the boats returned to port. If the boat was not out on the bar before the charter boats got underway you would hear about it. If conditions were bad we would escort boats back in across the bar. You also had real time bar reports; you still have that if the tower is manned. Of course times change and because of budget and manpower restrictions that level of effort could not be maintained so more of the onus was placed on all of you. My opinion, I felt that we did not do a very good job of working to better educate the boaters or provide enough information to assist boaters in making better decisions on bar restriction.


When I retired and later took this job I set out to do a couple of things. Find the means to efficiently and cost effectively get more information out to all of you and also provide an avenue of providing feed back and put out information that you never had access to before. Bar cameras and the internet link with NWS, Low power AM radios in the ports, warning signs at the boat ramps, printed material and me on here answering questions. I think we have come a long way over the last 15 or so years.


The one thing that is variable is the human factor. We go to great lengths to make sure the information is as accurate as it can be but when your dealing with a unpredictable natural force you might get it wrong once in awhile. I've seen it go from blue bird day and an FAC ocean to braking 12 feet on the series in a matter of an hours time. I have also see the tide change and start ebbing and the bar has flattened out. Most of the time you can have a prolonged lull and then a big series moves through where the only way to know that is to sit and watch the bar for a longer period of time.


The folks at the stations try to do their best given all the other stuff they have on their plate. The last thing they want to do is keep you form having fun but they have an obligation toward safety. We all have a vested interest in that.


Dan
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Old 06-30-2020, 01:44 PM   #11
bllelk
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Default Re: Oregon Coast Guard Stations

Thank you, Dan.

Fly'n Bry'n: It sounds like your cousin is planning a CG career. My kid went in, came out for a year and went back in. He'll be retiring in about 2 1/2 years with 30 years service. Top of his pay grade. West coast, East coast, Alaska and Hawaii, plus a couple years in the middle of N.D. Whaaat?
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