March 8th, 2011
This month, Portland Fire & Rescue is joining forces with North Lincoln Fire & Rescue and Depoe Bay Fire to get the word out about beach and water safety at the coast.
Historically, March has more fatalities in Oregon's coastal waters than any other month. The reason for this is simple - March can present some unique challenges. On relatively warm sunny days, large sea surges are still present. Additionally, Spring break brings large numbers of students and their families to the coast, as well as people looking for a quick weekend retreat to wash off some winter gloom.
"Coastal communities have already experienced several drownings this year," said Portland Fire Public Information Officer Paul Corah. "In the case of most drowning fatalities, victims are visitors to the coast. We encourage Portlander's - and all Oregonians - to know about and watch for hidden dangers on the coast this spring and summer."
Citizens can be proactive by heeding the following advice and passing these tips along to an individual or family they see engaging in potentially risky behavior on a beach, a cliff, or in the water:
- Beware of sneaker waves - never turn your back on the ocean
- Watch for logs - if you see a log in the sand or on the surf, stay off it
- Look out for deep water and strong currents - stay in shallow water
- Know the tides - stay off rocks and small, enclosed beaches
- Assume high waves can reach you - waves can sweep over rocks, jetties, and headlands and knock you off
- Heads up - beware of falling rocks and stay off bluffs and hillsides
"Many individuals who require water rescue, or their relatives, tell us they just didn't know they were in danger," said Captain Jim Kusz, Pubic Education Officer for Depoe Bay and North Lincoln Fire & Rescue Districts. "This year we are making a big push to get the word out to coastal guests that playing it safe at the beach can keep a pleasant day from turning into tragedy."
For a complete list of beach safety tips visithttp://visittheoregoncoast.com/beach-safety/.