COOS COUNTY — With many counties involved in the state’s phase reopening plan and traveling likely to increase as a result, local officials are reminding residents and visitors to practice beach safety guidelines when planning a trip to the Oregon Coast.
Being prepared, knowing the tides and watching out for sneaker waves are a few safety tips Megan Harper, with the BLM Coos Bay District, suggested can be very helpful when traveling to the beach.
According to Harper, knowing the tide schedule is very important as the local office she said will often see situations involving people being stuck in certain areas made only accessible during low tide. The North Spit of Coos Bay is an example of one of those areas, she said.
“We’ve had some cases where people get their vehicle stuck or themselves stuck as the tide comes in and they are not prepared and they can’t leave quickly enough,” said Harper.
For visitors thinking on planning a trip to the coast, Harper recommended checking out the safety tips outlined on the Oregon Parks and Recreation’s website. The site, she said, talks about staying away from logs on the beach and not walking on unmarked trails and down steep spaces as rocks and cliffs can be slippery.
U.S. Coast Guard Station Coos Bay Chief Warrant Officer Beth Slade echoed Harper’s suggestions as she too recommended a number of safety precautions people can follow when visiting the coast. With summer around the corner and the weather getting nicer, Slade said increased foot traffic to local beaches is pretty normal for this time of year.
Having a buddy system in place and knowing the tides and local weather conditions as well as local hazard warnings beforehand are among some safety factors people should consider when coming to the coast, Slade explained.
According to the Oregon Parks and Recreation’s website, tens of thousands of people visit Oregon’s coastline, which covers about 362 miles, each year. A number of safety precautions related to the new coronavirus such as social distancing from others and wearing personal protective gear have also been suggested this year.