Washed Away: Danger lurks on the Oregon Coast

<b>Washed Away:</b> Danger lurks on the Oregon Coast

PORTLAND, Ore. – Memorial Day is one week away, so with swimming pools opening for the summer that means, for many, it's time to think about going to the coast.

Now that this past week's cold coastal winds have blown through the area, as part of KATU's "Washed Away" event day we're bringing you tips to staying safe on the Pacific Northwest shores. In this series you'll find out how to learn to swim, how to tell if a tsunami is on its way even before the sirens, what to do if you're caught in a sneaker wave and where to learn CPR. You'll also see in-the-sea footage of off-shore rescues and underwater rip currents.

A preview of Monday's beach-safety coverage:

Tsunami safety.
Watch this segment below.

  • Do you know the difference between a tsunami advisory, tsunami watch and tsunami warning? Clarify the terminology with our handy quiz.
  • Learn about the efforts officials are taking to warn tourists of the dangers, and what the early warning signs of a tsunami are (note, it has to do with the shaking of the ground).
  • Also, brush up on what to do in the event a tsunami hits while you're at the beach.


Sneaker waves. Watch this segment below.

  • Even frequent beach-goers can get caught off guard; that’s why they call them “sneaker” waves. We talk to one man who almost got wiped out.
  • What do you do if you're caught in a wave? You can't rely on flotation devices or rafts. Knowing how to swim can save your life. Here are some of the upcoming local lessons, for you or the whole family:

* In Oregon City: http://www.orcity.org/swimmingpool/swim-lessons
* In Canby:http://www.ci.canby.or.us/Departments/swim/pclessons.htm
* In Vancouver: http://www.ymca-clarkcounty.wbees.com/f/PoolSchedule_Spring_10.pdf
* In Portland: http://www.portlandonline.com/parks/index.cfm?c=38284
* In Beaverton: http://www.thprd.org/aquatics/learntoswimprogram.cfm

Log dangers.
Watch this segment below.

  • It seems Oregonians are forgetting the warnings, as the number of reports of beach-goers trapped by water-borne logs continues to climb. We talk to one mom who lost her son in a log roll.
  • Get your questions answered about beach bonfires.
  • What if you see someone at the beach trapped by a log? You'll want to know CPR.
             * A CPR tutorial
             * CPR training with the Oregon Red Cross: http://www.oregonredcross.org
             * CPR training with the Southwest Washington Red Cross: http://swwashington.redcross.org/Community_Classes.php
             * Or, go the extra mile and check out options for water-safety instructor classes.

Tide pools and cliffs.
Watch this segment below.

Rip currents. Watch the segment below.

  • We go for a boat ride to watch a professional swimmer try to get out of a rip current.
  • We have the underwater video that will leave you breathless.