How your family can play it safe on the beach (2011)
SOLV Spring Beach Clean-up moved to March 26
Taking a cue from the tide table, SOLV moved the Spring Beach Cleanup from its traditional date of the first Saturday of spring break to the second Saturday. With high tides predicted for March 19, SOLV moved the event for safety reasons. It’s a simple change that protects beach clean-up volunteers.
You can follow SOLV’s lead; making small changes can safeguard your family’s vacation. What can you do? Here are a few tips.
Review the tide tables. Knowing the tides can help you:
- Identify good times to visit tide pools, or
- Plan a long walk on a wide open beach,
- Avoid being trapped on isolated beaches or outlying rocks.
Keep an eye on the ocean
- Watch surfers. They sometimes ride rip currents through the breakers. Avoid those areas. If you get caught in a rip, swim parallel to the beach and work your way shoreward when your out of the rip’s pull.
- Get a feeling for the timing and size of waves. This can help you recognize sneaker waves.
- Pick an escape route in case you need to get off the beach quickly.
- Look for logs near the water. The smallest wave can move a big log.
- Identify off-limit areas. Outlying rocks and beach cliffs are dangerous areas and should be avoided.
- Wading deeper than your knee height increases your vulnerability to sneaker waves and rip currents.
- Wear life jackets.
- Keep small children nearby. A good rule of thumb—if you are close enough to play catch with a beach ball, you are close enough to help.
Sneaker waves, rolling logs, rip currents, incoming tides and unstable cliffs are as common as spring rain. While these dangers are always present, be observant and make good decisions and you’ll have a safe and fun trip to the coast.
March 15 KATU AM Northwest interview with Beach Safety Coordinator Robert Smith
March 9 America’s State Park Youth Ambassador for Oregon Madeline Lau interviews Beach Safety Coordinator Robert Smith