Staying safe on the coast

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and local first responders throughout the area welcome the thousands of visitors expected this summer along beaches in Lincoln County, but they continue to encourage visitors to be aware of the dangers.

Beachgoers are reminded to always be aware of their surroundings. Water depths can change rapidly along the coastline and waves and rip currents can be very strong and unpredictable.

Rip tides

 

These strong currents rush out to sea, and can overwhelm even the most experienced swimmer. They form on any beach with breaking waves. It will contain dark, muddy water and be very choppy.

Tips if you are caught in a rip current:

  • Stay calm and do not fight the current.
  • Swim parallel to the beach until you are out of the dangerous current.
  • Once you are free, turn and swim toward shore.
  • If you cannot make it to the shore, tread water, wave and call for help.

Sneaker waves

These large waves appear suddenly and can knock you down, even drag you out to sea. They do not happen very often, but it is best to never turn your back on the ocean. Keep an eye toward the water.

Digging caves, holes into sand

Behind the beaches, you will often find cliffs made of sand. Kids like to dig tunnels there, but the tunnels can collapse, possibly trapping your child. The same goes for digging holes in the sand on the beach. Stick to building sand castles.

Logs by the sea

Walking on a log may look like fun, but a wave can pick up and roll that log, suddenly trapping you underneath in the water. Avoid logs, particularly during incoming tides.

Climbing on cliffs and rocks

Ocean spray and rain make rocks, jetties and trails slippery and unsafe. Do not tread past safety fences and stay away from cliff edges, as the ground could give way. In addition, do not climb on rocks in the ocean, even near shore, when tides are coming in. This is true for your dogs, too. They are as vulnerable to slipping as you are.

For more information on general beach safety along the Pacific Northwest coast visit https://visittheoregoncoast.com/beach-safety/ and https://www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov.

For additional information about beach and ocean safety in Lincoln City, contact NLFR at 541-996-2233 or the Oregon Parks Department at 503-986-0707.

There have been several fatal ocean and beach mishaps over the past several years in Lincoln City. Read the coverage at thenewsguard.com.