Dangerous beauty: The Oregon Coast

Dangerous beauty: The Oregon Coast »Play Video

OREGON COAST - With the holiday weekend coming up and nice weather on tap, the coast will certainly be a busy destination.

If you plan on doing a little beach combing, here's a reminder about the dangers you might face and what you need to know to stay safe.

Sneaker Waves

How easy is it to get caught off guard by a sneaker wave?  A lot easier than you might think.

"It doesn't necessarily have to be something that's 10 feet and comes over the top of your head," said Peter Robertson with North Lincoln Fire and Rescue.

Walking along the water's edge is far enough to get you in trouble.  Remember, there is a reason they're called 'sneaker waves,' because they do just that - they sneak up on you.

Aside from the danger of suddenly being swept away, sneaker waves can also carry an awful lot of sand, which can weigh you down and make it nearly impossible for you to swim.

Robertson's advice is simple - never turn your back to the ocean.

Rip Currents

A rip current is created when a sand bar traps water from incoming waves, creating a pool.  When the sand bar breaks, the water in the pool is quickly sucked back out to sea.  And if you happen to be in that pool when it happens, you get sucked out right along with it.

If you get caught in a rip current, let the current carry you out.  Then swim parallel to the beach until you are out of the rip current and can swim back to shore.

"There are always currents moving in and out, so you can ultimately get into a current that's going to push you into shore," said Robertson.


It is important to stay away from logs, whether they are in the water or on wet sand.  It only takes four inches of water to move a 5-ton log, which can easily crush you.