Play it safe on the beach (2010)
Spring is almost here and so are fun times on Oregon’s beaches
“Play it safe” is worth remembering any time of year, says OPRD Beach Safety Education Coordinator Robert Smith. But people tend to forget that although it’s spring on the calendar, winter conditions still prevail on the ocean. That can make people who are beachcombing, tidepooling, standing on jetties or just walking along the beach more vulnerable to sneaker waves. “Getting hit by a sneaker wave can happen any time, any place,” says Smith.
The solution, while still having fun? It’s easy, especially if you enjoy watching the ocean. Just keep an eye on it. “Don’t take the ocean for granted,” Smith adds. “Always remember that when you’re on a beach, you’re having a wilderness experience.”
Sneaker waves are common and dangerous. So are rip currents, which account for 80 percent of all rescues and are the number one cause of ocean deaths. That’s why knowing how to play in the wilderness is especially important if you’re surfing, boogie boarding or swimming. “Experienced surfers know how to ride out rip currents,” says Smith. “Others have to learn what to look for and what to do if trapped by one. Anytime you’re just swimming or wading in the ocean, you need to be aware.”
Remember to play it safe while enjoying some of the world’s greatest places to have fun—Oregon’s ocean beaches.
Oregon Beach Safety website