Tours to Alcatraz called off due to high winds 

High winds and choppy Bay waters prompted a rare closure of Alcatraz Island to visitors Wednesday, a National Park Service spokeswoman said.

The Park Service and officials with Alcatraz Cruises, the official concessionaire for tours to the shuttered federal jail, made the call shortly after 11 a.m. to shut down trips to the island because of unsafe conditions, Park Service spokeswoman Alexandra Picavet said.

The choppy water was “making it not safe for the ferries carrying passengers to land at the island and for passengers to get on and off the island,” Picavet said.

“This is pretty rare but not unheard of,” she said. “It doesn’t happen every year.”

Picavet said authorities anticipate tours to the island will resume today.

People who bought tickets for Wednesday’s tours will be able to have them refunded or booked for another day, she said.

Picavet said a high surf warning had also been issued around the Bay Area and people along coastlines should watch out for rip currents or sneaker waves.

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