Storm Debris Litters San Francisco Bay, Prompts Headache for Boaters

Boaters traversing through the San Francisco Bay are being warned to keep an eye out for debris that has poured into the water as a result of recent winter storms.

Large and lengthy clumps of drifting logs, branches, trash and other rubbish washed into the water could be spotted on Wednesday floating throughout the bay, forcing boaters to carefully navigate around the treacherous junk.

Ernest Sanchez, a spokesperson for the San Francisco Bay Ferry, said four boats this winter have suffered propeller or jet damage after striking debris clusters. That damage has canceled some departures and prompted delays at times.

One specific ferry known as "Gemini" will be out of service until Friday after sustaining a bent propeller.

A slew of wet days on taps are expected to clutter the bay with even more debris, and swift-moving currents could sprawl the hazards in various locations.

"It is very important that mariners remain cognizant of the hazards in their areas," Lt. Marcia Medina, acting chief of Sector San Francisco Waterways Management Division, wrote in a statement. "Mariners should stay informed and aware of weather conditions and monitor the progress and strength of currents through their local television, radio and internet."

Boaters who come across debris should contact the Coast Guard on VHF-FM channel 16 or call 415-399-3520.

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