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Course Outline

Oregon Rough Bar Sign

Coastal Bar Warning Signs
Two different styles of warning signs are used to indicate when bar restrictions are in effect. When the alternating amber lights are flashing on a warning sign, hazardous conditions are present, and a restriction from crossing the bar has been placed on recreational and uninspected passenger vessels. Boaters should check on the restriction information to see whether it affects their vessel.

“Rough Bar” warning signs with amber lights are normally located in the vicinity of the USCG Station or near the harbor or boat ramp.

“Bar Restrictions in Effect” signs with amber lights are additional warning signs that are located at boat ramps.

Bar Conditions and Observation Reports
All boaters are reminded that safe navigation is the responsibility of each vessel operator.

  • When the amber lights on a warning sign are flashing, boaters must obey the restriction information.
  • It is the vessel operator’s responsibility to find out whether hazardous conditions exist and bar restrictions are in place prior to getting underway.

The USCG and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provide information to help boaters navigate safely. Observed weather and bar conditions are updated every four hours or more frequently if there is a change in the conditions or restrictions.

  • The USCG broadcasts marine information on VHF-FM channel 16 when hazardous bar conditions and restrictions are put into place or are lifted. Boaters are strongly encouraged to monitor channel 16 for all notices and weather updates.
  • Radio station 1610 AM provides a continual broadcast that gives bar conditions, bar restrictions, and the local weather. This broadcast is audible within a four-mile radius from the USCG Station.
  • Current bar conditions and restrictions for Oregon are also available on the NOAA Local Bar Observations website.

When using these sources, boaters should be aware of the following.

  • The information provided reflects conditions at the time the coastal bar was observed and may not reflect current conditions.
  • Bar conditions are subject to change without notice.
  • A report should NOT be used as the sole source of information when making a decision about crossing a bar.
  • Boaters are advised to use all means available to safely re-evaluate bar conditions and risks before crossing any bar.
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