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Sneaker Wave Warning for Southern Oregon Coast Sunday, Monday

Published 03/30/2019 at 5:53 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Sneaker Wave Warning for Southern Oregon Coast Sunday, Monday

(Medford, Oregon) – The National Weather Service (NWS) office in Medford, Oregon released a beach hazards statement for the southern Oregon coast, saying there is a higher risk of sneaker waves from Sunday afternoon through Monday evening.

This warning is for the southern Oregon coast only (not the northern half), covering Florence down to the California border, including the towns of Bandon, Coos Bay, Winchester Bay, Brookings, etc. The northern half – including towns like Cannon Beach, Newport, Lincoln City, Yachats, etc – will be seeing lower-than-average wave height.

“A Beach Hazards Statement is issued when threats such as rip currents, longshore currents, sneaker waves and other hazards create life-threatening conditions in the surf zone,” the NWS said. “Caution should be used when in or near the water. Never turn your back on the ocean.”

The NWS said sudden and unusually high wave runs can take beachgoers by surprise, resulting in possible injury or drowning.

“Shock and hypothermia can occur quickly in the cold Pacific waters,” the NWS said. “Logs and other debris can be lifted and floated by these waves, crushing or entrapping unsuspecting victims underneath.”

The warnings come just a week after a Hillsboro woman was injured at Manzanita by a log rolling on her. She was sitting on the log, facing the ocean, when a sneaker wave came up suddenly and lifted the log, even pinning her underwater for a brief period.

Do not sit on logs that are near the ocean, and keep an eye on the tides to make sure no sneaker waves have been reaching the spot where you’re choosing to sit. You can often tell if there are wet outlines of breakers in the sand.

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