SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — High winds and choppy Bay waters have 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 jail, made the call shortly after 11 a.m. to shut down trips to the island because of unsafe conditions, NPS spokeswoman Alexandra Picavet said.

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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 that tours to the island will resume on Thursday.

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

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

“Anyone planning to be near water today and tomorrow needs to be especially aware,” she said.

© Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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