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Walk on the Beach

OCT. 13, 2016 — Three men walk on Bastendorff Beach with their heads into the wind. The National Weather Service had issued high wind and high surf warnings.

Lou Sennick, The World

The arrival of spring brings many visitors to the Oregon coast and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department wants you to be safe while exploring the shoreline.

"March can be a tricky time of year on the coast," said Lisa Stevenson, OPRD beach ranger speaking at Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area. "The ocean can still experience stormy winter weather despite the warmer temperatures on land."

Coastal threats can come in the form of powerful waves, unstable logs on beaches and erosion of rocks and cliffs.

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

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

— 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.

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— 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.

— 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; OPRD park rangers and many local businesses can give you one for free.

— Be 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.

For more Oregon coast safety information, watch the new Cape Kiwanda safety video on the Oregon State Parks YouTube page.