When spring-time arrives, many folks head for the Oregon coast where there’s plenty of elbow room to stretch out and play. But this season there are sobering reminders that staying safe while having fun on the sand requires caution, knowledge and awareness.

Robert Smith is the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Beach Safety expert and recently said that people who visit the coastline should be aware of their environment – it is dynamic and changing all of the time –
Grant's Getaways Tip of the Week: Beach Safety
For example, Smith noted that there are timbers in the tides – logs that is, washed down river, pushed out of the coastal bays and then wash up on the beach. They are often huge and dangerous. As little as four inches of water can float a five-ton log.

Meanwhile, down in the surf line, Smith offered that so called “sneaker waves” will get you if you don’t watch out!”

Be aware and cautious of the rocks – either rocky headlands or even bedrocks on the beach. These areas can fool into thinking all is well because they seem so stable – rock solid – until the tide comes in that is.

Smith said that’s what recently happened to a man who found himself holding on for dear life on rocky patch of beach near Newport, Oregon.

Smith added that anyone who comes to play on the beach should carry a tide table with them – it’s a tool that provides valuable information of the high and low tides – that’s information that could help you to stay safe.

Make sure all family members understand that the beach is a wonderful place to play – but set some ground rules as family members, especially youngsters who head out for a well deserved spring and summer break.

about author Grant McOmie

Grant McOmie is a Pacific Northwest broadcast journalist, teacher and author who writes and produces stories and special programs about the people, places, outdoor activities and environmental issues of the Pacific Northwest. A fifth generation Oregon native, Grant’s roots run deepest in the central Oregon region near Prineville and Redmond where his family continues to live.

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