Muir Beach Volunteer Fire Department
Muir Beach Volunteer Fire Department

 

MBVFD is 100% volunteer. That means ALL donations
go DIRECTLY towards keeping our volunteer firefighers well trained and equipped. Thanks for your support.

9-1-1 calls from cell phones within the Muir Beach area are connected to a dispatch operator in the Central Valley who has no idea where Muir Beach is!

The number to call when using your cell phone for an incident in the Muir Beach area is 415-472-0911.

 

Safety Tips

Beach Safety

Did you know??? 4 inches of water can lift a 5 ton log.
Stay clear of the large logs that roll in the surf and up onto the beach!

Muir BeachWhat to do if you see someone drowning
Rip Currents
Sneaker Waves
Tidepooling
Fishing Safely from the Rocks
Ocean & Bay Water Testing Program
Seals on the Beach
Too Much Sun
Hypothermia
Fins in the Ocean!
Tsunamis
Dogs Safety at the Beach
Bonfires at Muir Beach
Just for Kids!


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What to do if you see someone drowning

  1. Call 9-1-1 immediately.
  2. If the victim is within throwing distance, throw a floatable object to them. It can be a life jacket, kick board or even an empty gallon jug.
  3. If the victim is within reaching distance, assist him by extending something long, such as a rope, pole, ring bowie or a tree branch.

If you must enter the water to assist someone, take a flotation device large enough to carry two adults safety, says Jeff Ellis and Associates (International Aquatic Safety & Risk management Consultants). Keep the device between you and the person in distress; even a child can put an adult at risk in deep water.
National Safety Council

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Rip Currents

Beach Safety Tips: rip currents, logs, tides,
www.oregon.gov/OPRD/PARKS/beach_tips.shtml


Why, when and where rip currents form, why they're dangerous. How to identify, avoid & survive rip current, rip current myths
National Weather Service
www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov/overview.shtml


Rip Current Science
Coastal scientists have been investigating rip currents for more than 75 years. This research has been conducted through field observations and measurements, laboratory measurements and wave tank experiments, and computer and numerical modeling. The mechanics of rip current development are complex and involve interactions between waves and currents, waves and water levels, waves and the shape of the nearshore bottom (bathymetry), as well as wave-wave interaction.
National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Read more: www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov/science.shtml

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Sneaker Waves

A sneaker wave is an unexpectedly large wave, higher, stronger and reaching farther up the beach to levels far beyond where the normal waves reach. Beach goers, particularly children, can quickly be caught in the rip current and pulled out to deep water. If the person can not escape the current, he may drown. Sneaker waves can also toss around large driftwood logs that may fall on a person, injuring or even killing him.

Even though the ocean may appear calm, there is still the potential for sneaker waves. Larger waves, moving fast, pick up smaller waves and carry them toward the beach. Some people erroneously think that sneaker waves can be predicted, i.e., every fourth or fifth wave, but in truth they are unpredictable. They can occur at any time, day or night, during incoming and outgoing tides, during storms and during sunny calm weather.

How to avoid sneaker waves

Never turn your back on the surf
Stay at least thirty yards away from the water on beaches facing the open ocean. Watch out for sneaker waves. Sneaker waves are often preceded by a lower than sudden lowering of the water level. Supervise children at all times.

Avoid slippery rocks
Rock outcrops can be slippery from mist, rain, or spray. Large waves can knock people off rock outcrops and severely injure them or knock them unconscious. Stay away from rocky areas, particularly during storms, high tide, or tidal changes.

Avoid logs and debris
Sneaker waves are strong enough to take the biggest log and toss it on you. Stay away from logs in surf or wet sand. Do not sit or stand on logs. Keep children away from logs and large debris.
National Park Service (Point Reyes National Seashore)
Read more: http://www.nps.gov/pore/planyourvisit/beaches.htm#CP_JUMP_273331

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Tidepooling

California boasts over 1,100 miles of coastline and with it, some of the world's richest tidal life. Cold, nutrient-rich waters and rocky shorelines provide the perfect habitat for hundreds of species of plants, from microscopic diatoms to huge seaweeds. The plants in turn, support a multitude of wildlife normally hidden beneath the waves. At first glance, the wave-swept rocks may seem void of life, but the rocky pools exposed only at the lowest tides contain a rich stew of plants and animals plastered so thickly together that very little of the rocks show. An amazing feat considering the harshness of this wave-battered environment.
California Department of Fish & Game
Read more: http://science.kqed.org/quest/2011/12/05/tidepooling-trip-planner/


Where to go tidepooling in the Bay Area

Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, Half Moon Bay www.fitzgeraldreserve.org/newffmrsite/
Point Reyes National Seashore (PDF)

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Fishing Safely from the Rocks

Rock fishing on the west coast is an exhilarating way to catch a meal. Sadly, a large number of people have drowned doing just this and the following safety tips may save your life on the rocks.

Rock fishing safety tips

If in doubt about the conditions or your own ability find a safer location.

There is almost always a swell with set waves. Set waves are groups of larger waves that arrive less frequently than others. Most people swept of rocks are taken by set waves.

When you check the swell forecast and tides, be cautious where swell is rising on an incoming tide. Rock fishing is not advised during these times and you could be cut-off from an escape route. Many popular fishing spots are submerged at high tide so always try new locations on an outgoing tide. Carry a length of rope, first aid kit, flashlight and a handheld flare. Have an emergency plan and know how to contact help. Learn the first aid for hypothermia and injuries such as concussion, cuts, sprains, dislocation and fractures.

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Ocean & Bay Water Testing Program

Marin County Environmental Health Services (EHS) monitors ocean, bay and freshwater sites in Marin County weekly from April 1 through October 31 to determine if a beach meets the California water quality standards for recreational water contact. EHS works cooperatively with other agencies to collect water samples and post advisory signage as needed at the designated sampling sites.

Should the State water standards be exceeded at any time, a warning sign is posted to alert the public that the bacterial standards were not met. The California Department of Public Health advises beach users to avoid contact with the recreational waters where warning signs are posted. People in contact with the elevated bacteria levels in recreational waters may become ill.
Get water testing reports here:
www.marincounty.org/depts/cd/beach-monitoring


Seals on the Beach

The beach is blessed with wonderful wildlife including baby seals. These newborn pups are placed up on the shore by their mothers, who then return to the sea to feed, sometimes for several days, before returning. If a seal pup is moved or touched by humans its mother will not take it back and the baby is left to die. It is a federal offense to touch or annoy seals. Please do not touch them. If the seal appears in distress notify WildCare in San Rafael at 415-456-SAVE (7283).

What is a Harbor Seal haul-out?

Harbor seals use specific shoreline areas on a regular basis to haul-out of the water and rest. These resting areas are called seal haul-outs and include: beaches, rocky areas, log booms and floats. Some haul-outs are used regularly, while others may be used seasonally or occasionally. Time spent on the haul-out is essential for their survival as they rest, dry out, interact and regulate body their temperature. In addition to resting, Harbor seals give birth to and nurse their pups on the haul-out, and undergo an annual molt of their pelage or fur.

Viewing Seals Responsibly In the Wild

Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife: WildWatch Cams
Read more and watch the SealCam: http://wdfw.wa.gov/wildwatch/sealcam/index.html


You Found an Ill, Injured or Orphaned Animal—Now What?

If the animal you have found is a bat, raccoon, skunk, fox or coyote, do not handle the animal with bare hands. Because these animals are rabies-vector species, they MUST be handled with gloves or towels!

Temporary Care Instructions for All Animals:

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Too Much Sun

Naval Safety Center

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Hypothermia

Hypothermia occurs when your body's control mechanisms fail to maintain a normal body temperature. Signs and symptoms that may develop include gradual loss of mental and physical abilities. Severe hypothermia can lead to death.
Mayo Clinic
Read more: www.mayoclinic.com/health/hypothermia/DS00333

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Fins in the Ocean!

Sharks are unpredictable, and any time you are in waist-deep ocean waters you are in shark country. Sharks rarely attack people, but a few simple precautions can help you reduce the already slight risk.
National Parks Conservation Association
Read more:
www.livescience.com/3892-science-shark-attacks-avoid.html
www.wikihow.com/Prevent-a-Shark-Attack
www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/kids/avoid/avoid.htm

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Tsunamis

Tsunamis are ocean waves produced by earthquakes or underwater landslides. The word is Japanese and means "harbor wave," because of the devastating effects these waves have had on low-lying Japanese coastal communities. Tsunamis are often incorrectly referred to as tidal waves, but a tsunami is actually a series of waves that can travel at speeds averaging 450 (and up to 600) miles per hour in the open ocean. In the open ocean, tsunamis would not be felt by ships because the wavelength would be hundreds of miles long, with an amplitude of only a few feet. This would also make them unnoticeable from the air. As the waves approach the coast, their speed decreases and their amplitude increases. Unusual wave heights have been known to be over 100 feet high. However, waves that are 10 to 20 feet high can be very destructive and cause many deaths or injuries.
American Red Cross
Download the information (PDF)

Marin Tsunami

The Marin coast could be struck by a tsunami. Whether you live in Marin County, visit the beaches, or rent or own a home near the coast, it is vital to understand the tsunami threat and take preparation seriously. MARIN TSUNAMI tells the story of what several West Marin communities are doing to be prepared. This video was produced by Marin County Office of Emergency Services and the US Geological Survey to help people prepare for a tsunami emergency.

Marin Tsunami from MarinCAOES on Vimeo.

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Dogs Safety at the Beach

Each year when the weather heats up, it's time to head for beach. But if you bring your dog along, you'll need to be mindful of a few things.

Preventing Sunburn

When the sun comes out, your pet's skin needs special protection. If your pet's nose has more pink areas than black, it's especially susceptible to burning, and, over the long term, even skin cancer. Light pets and pets with short, cropped fur are also at risk. The answer: frequently apply a waterproof, non-toxic sunscreen with a maximum SPF of 15 to exposed areas on your pet. Make sure to rub it in. Even if he or she licks it off, some will have already penetrated to protect your dog from the sun's harmful rays.
Animal Rescue
Read more about keeping your pets safe:
www.animalplanet.com/pets/5-safety-tips-for-taking-your-dog-to-the-beach/
www.lifewithdogs.tv/2011/09/beach-safety-for-dogs/ 
www.dogsquad.biz/articles/dog-health-and-safety-articles/dog-health-and-safety-preventing-heat-stroke/

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Bonfires at the Beach

You can enjoy a bonfire at Muir Beach, but strict rules apply. Fires are only allowed in the three fire rings and grills near the south end of the parking lot, and only during the day.

For more details call (415) 388-2595

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Just for Kids!

Yes, beach safety is serious. For some kids, though, games are the best way to get the message through. Each game on this website is an Adobe Acrobat file you can view and print, then hand off to your favorite kid.
www.oregon.gov/OPRD/PARKS/beach_games.shtml


Kids can learn about tidepool safety, tides & animals through games, puzzels etc. Make up a Scavenger Hunt for big and little kids, or download and print a ready-made one to get you started.
Beach Scavenger Hunt (PDF)

Exploring tidepools with kids at Point Reyes National Seashore
http://home.nps.gov/pore/forkids/index.htm


Ocean Safety
http://beach.lifetips.com/cat/463/ocean-swimming/

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