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State Officials Urge Safety Tips for Oregon Coast Spring Break

Published 03/24/2019 at 6:33 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

State Officials Urge Safety Tips for Oregon Coast Spring Break

(Oregon Coast) – Everyone and their dog is out on the Oregon coast during this first spring break week, and those trying to get away from it all are simply bringing it with them. (Above: Thor's Well near Yachats is a special problem).

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With those crowds, revelers and beach explorers comes a new wave of safety tips from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD), who want to urge caution to keep your holiday from turning injurious or deadly.

There are numerous things to look out for, said OPRD.

"People are so excited for the spring sunshine that sometimes safety takes a back seat," said Lisa Stevenson, OPRD beach ranger. "But preparation and common sense go a long way to keeping you safe on the coast."

Stevenson lists several tips for ensuring your trip to coast is a safe one:

The first rule is to always keep one eye on the ocean so you won't be caught off guard if a bigger wave surges up the beach. These "sneaker waves" are unpredictable, powerful and especially dangerous for children
.
Stay away from logs on the wet sand or in the surf. These logs can weigh several tons and can be moved by only a few inches of water. The ocean is strong enough to pick up even the biggest log and roll it over you.

Be especially careful on cliffs and rocks. They can be unstable due to erosion. Stay on marked trails and do not climb over fences. Both are there to keep you safe.

Some areas are prone to carelessness than others, with much of Yachats being one of the big ones. Especially problematic is Thor’s Well, where people continually get too close to the overflowing, bubbling feature. It’s become a problematic Oregon coast hotspot, with locals noting recklessness on a daily basis there, numerous times a day.

A visitor died here several years ago, and people get soaked and even knocked down by waves here constantly.

Other spots along Yachats’ 804 Trail also get underestimated too often.

A good rule of thumb is that if you see a rocky area that’s already quite wet, especially with rather large pools of water, that’s because the waves keep reaching there. Stay away from the wet and pooled up areas.

OPRD also said you should know when the tide is coming in, especially when exploring tidepools. It's easy to become stranded by the incoming tide when your attention is elsewhere. You can keep track of tides with a tide table; pick one up for free at an Oregon State Park or at many coastal businesses.

Rip currents are another hot issue on the Oregon coast: the fast-moving water channels can quickly carry even the strongest swimmers away from shore. If you’re caught in a rip current, OPRD said to stay calm. Rip currents are narrow channels of water; swim parallel to the shore to escape them, then swim back to land at an angle.

Ocean water temperatures can still be chilly, despite the higher temps on land. Don’t overextend your ocean swim, especially during evening hours. Periodically return to the beach to dry off and warm up.

For more Oregon coast safety information, watch the new Cape Kiwanda State Park safety video – or see the official Oregon Coast Beach Safety Guide.

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