Beach Safety Tips
The Oregon Coast is a great place to visit. You can look for seashells, build a sandcastle or explore rocky tidepools. The beach can be a lot of fun, especially if you keep these tips in mind to stay safe during your visit. Make sure you share the joy with friends and family. Having an extra set of eyes may help you find more cool stuff, and a different set of hands will make that sandcastle even bigger. Take a beach ball along and someone to play catch with! If you keep your buddies—or mom and dad—close enough to catch a beach ball, that’s smart. They can hear you if you call out. Having a buddy can help you stay safe. Enjoy your visit, and talk to your family and friends about staying safe at the beach.
Beware of Rip Currents:
Rip currents are strong currents of water that rush out to sea. They are more robust than even the best swimmer. Rip currents can form on any beach that has breaking waves. If you look closely, you can see a rip current. It will have dark muddy water and be very choppy. You might see foam and other debris floating out to sea. If you see a rip current, stay away! They are very dangerous.
If you are ever caught in a rip current, don’t panic. Relax, and swim parallel to the beach. Don’t try to fight it. If you have trouble swimming, tread water and call for help. Parents! Keep your kids nearby when they’re playing near the ocean.
Don't Climb on Drift Logs:
Logs on wet sand or in the water are especially dangerous. The ocean is strong enough to pick up even the most enormous log and plop it down on top of you. If you see a log in the surf or on wet sand, stay off it.
Beware of Sneaker Waves:
Watch out for “sneaker waves.” Sneaker waves are unpredictable and appear suddenly. They can rush up high on the shore with enough force to knock you down and drag you out to sea. Keep one eye on the ocean.
Be Careful on Cliffs & Rocks:
Ocean spray and heavy rains can make rocks and trails slippery and unsafe. Stay behind fences. They are there for your safety. When hiking, make sure you are wearing the right shoes and stay on marked trails. Stay away from cliff edges. They may not support your weight. And, don’t stand under overhanging cliffs.
Stay off Rocks & Jetties:
Rocks and jetties may seem like great spots to view the ocean, but they can be very dangerous. Barnacles living on stones can give you painful cuts and scrapes if you slip and fall.
Jetties keep ships safe and are not there for people to walk on. The big waves crashing against rocks and jetties can knock you into the ocean or gaps between stones.
Beware of Incoming Tides:
Tide pools can be so attractive that you might lose track of time. Make sure you know when the tide is coming in so you don't get stranded. Free tide tables, available at state park offices, information centers, and many shops and motels, list the times of high and low tides.
You need to be aware of two types of tsunami warnings: distant and local events.
With a distant event, you will be alerted by sirens located throughout the city. Proceed by foot and follow the posted evacuation route signs to higher ground.
With a local event, you will feel a powerful earthquake. Take immediate cover until the quake subsides, and then go immediately to higher ground by foot using the posted evacuation routes.
Stay near your children and keep your eye on them. Never let children play in the water unsupervised. Play close to the lifeguard station.
The Lifesaving program provides lifeguard coverage for the main beach areas associated with the City of Cannon Beach. The lifeguards offer a myriad of emergency and non-emergency services essential to maintaining safe and desirable recreational areas related to the ocean shore. Lifeguards are on the beach daily from 11:00 am to 7:15 pm Mid-June through Labor Day. In May and September, they operate on weekends only, weather permitting.
Know your Ability in the water:
Don’t paddle out farther than you can swim back. Ocean water is freezing. The water averages 55 degrees Fahrenheit and hypothermia is a danger. Do not go swimming in the ocean without a wetsuit. A wetsuit is critical and requires surfing equipment.