Stay Eat Events Weather Beaches

Hidden Summer Danger of Oregon Coast No One Talks About

Published 08/30/2017 at 5:43 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Hidden Summer Danger of Oregon Coast No One Talks About

(Oregon Coast) – There's a hidden danger in those tide line waves that are tempting to wade in during summer – one that has killed a few people in the last decade. When summer sand levels get really high, with those large tufts of sand and massive pools of ocean water between them, you'd best be careful when you tread around those pools. You can't always see the bottom of those, and that's when some could drop suddenly a few feet to as much as ten feet, and you run the risk of drowning. (Above: watch for large pools like these at Manzanita in summer).

It only lurks at the tide line where you can wade up to your hips or so, and only in summer. This makes it all that much more dangerous, however, because there are more people out on the beaches and more flopping around in the surf.

Luckily, it doesn't happen very often, but unfortunately it's not talked about enough because of that. It's the big hidden danger of the Oregon coast at its busiest time.

On the north Oregon coast, they have the nickname of “crab holes,” but there doesn't appear to be a technical name for them. They basically refer to lower parts of the sand beneath the breakers that you can't see. These can suddenly drop a foot or two, or much more – even up to ten or 15 feet.

A good example: note the massive patterns and dips in the dry sand at Newport. These happen underneath the tide line as well, and you can't see those sudden dips when they're filled with water.

If you drop abruptly a couple of feet, it will hurt. The shock will shake up your system as well, but that sudden dip won't injure most people. The problem comes when these drops are over a few feet, and especially when it comes to children whose lesser heights put them at more risk. If you or a child falls into one deep enough, you could find yourself under water. Worse, that shock may not allow you to pull up fast enough and your lungs begin taking on water.

Keith Chandler, manager of Seaside Aquarium, said comes about because of the piles of sand that build up during summer's more mellow wave action. They build up just beyond the surf as well right in plain sight on the beaches. You can often see this striking sight on many beaches around the coast: areas where the sand rises and falls in height.

It's this kind of terrain under the breakers you have to worry about.

“The sand under the ocean is not flat,” Chandler said. “There are holes, deeper spaces between those sand bars, and they can be deeper than you realize.”

For kids, a three- to four-foot drop can mean serious trouble.

On the extreme end, those ten-foot crab holes are just plain deadly.

Chandler said the shock of abruptly landing in such a way often causes you to breath in hard and fast. If for some reason the drop-off is low enough to put you under water – even if it's something you could normally swim out of – that instinctive breathing in means you've swallowed a mouthful of water.

What to look for? That's kind of complex.

“If you can't see the sand at your feet, it's too deep to go into,” Chandler said. Oregon Coast Hotels in these areas - Where to eat - Maps and Virtual Tours

He went as far as to suggest not to go wading in the ocean at all, since people really need a trained eye to know what to look for.

Another important point, according to Chandler: walk back the exact way you came if you have gone out wading beyond your knees. Since these mounds of sand can drop off suddenly to the right or to the left of you, make sure you come back the same path you took.

Note the deeper area you must wade through to get to the main breakers a ways away. Be cautious of spots like this.




More About Oregon Coast hotels, lodging.....

More About Oregon Coast Restaurants, Dining.....

 

Oregon Coast event or adventure you can't miss

 



Coastal Spotlight


LATEST Related Oregon Coast Articles

Ben Jones Bridge Viewpoint near Depoe Bay: Central Oregon Coast History and S...
Along the Otter Crest Loop, mostly and officially known as the Ben Jones Bridge. Travel tips
Remarkable Number of Moon Jellies Hit N. Oregon Coast
Moon jellies go by the scientific name Aurelia aurita. Sciences
Oregon and Coast Astronomy: Planetary Conjunction, Eclipse Weather
A major eclipse of the moon and two planets hanging out close together
Otter Crest Loop, Oregon Coast - Complete Guide, Hiking, History, Sights
Perhaps the most dramatic drive along the entire coastline, it's near Depoe Bay. Science, travel tips
Big Surf and Lots of Sun This Week on Oregon Coast; Sneaker Wave Advisory
Sun and sneaker waves. That's the forecast for the next few days
Stunning South Point at Depoe Bay: Photos of Oregon Coast Secret Spot
A stretch of cliffs and globs of basalt that cause the ocean to smack it
Full Lunar Eclipse To Make Moon Orange for Portland, Oregon Coast, Inland
The skies over Oregon and the coast will get a special treat on January 20. Weather, science
Fort Stevens State Park: The Shocker Underneath This Oregon Coast Historical ...
Did you know that parts of Fort Stevens didn't exist before 100 years ago? Geology

Back to Oregon Coast

Contact Advertise on BeachConnection.net
All Content, unless otherwise attributed, copyright BeachConnection.net Unauthorized use or publication is not permitted

Oregon Coast Lodging
Rentals
Specials

Dining

Events Calendar

Oregon Coast Weather

Travel News

Search for Oregon Coast Subjects, Articles

Virtual Tours, Maps
Deep Details