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Sneaker Wave Threat for South Oregon Coast Over Fourth of July

Published 07/03/020 at 5:44 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Sneaker Wave Threat for South Oregon Coast Over Fourth of July

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(Coos Bay, Oregon) – The southern Oregon coast may get a little more than fireworks on its beaches over the Fourth of July. The National Weather Service (NWS) in Medford issued a beach hazards statement for south coast beaches from about Reedsport southward, warning of the possibility for sneaker waves on the Fourth of July and the following day.

“The main risk will be south of Cape Blanco,” the NWS said. “Don't turn your back on the ocean and stay off logs and rocks near to shore.”

The beach hazards statement is in effect from Saturday afternoon through Sunday evening, the NWS said, with an increased threat of sneaker waves. This includes beaches near Coos Bay, Gold Beach, Bandon and all the way down to Brookings.

Beaches facing south will have a greater issue, the NWS said.

“Despite seemingly calm conditions, sneaker waves can sweep up the beach without warning and knock unsuspecting people over and drag them out to sea,” the NWS said. “Shock and hypothermia can occur quickly in the cold Pacific waters. Logs and other debris can be lifted and floated by these waves, crushing or entrapping unsuspecting victims underneath.”

While the NWS added you should stay away from jetties, the fact is jetties are never safe to wander around on. They are much more hazardous during these conditions, however.

There are no such hazards over the weekend for the northern half of the Oregon coast, which includes Florence, Yachats, Lincoln City, Oceanside and Seaside. Combined seas there are all under eight feet with little period between the swells.

While the south coast won’t get particularly large combined seas, it’s the long period swells that will be an issue for beachgoers. This can cause waves to “pile up” out at sea and come in with greater strength and speed. See Oregon Coast Weather

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