IMPACTS: IT IS DANGEROUS TO VENTURE NEAR THE WATER UNDER HIGH SURF CONDITIONS. PEOPLE HAVE DROWNED AFTER BEING SWEPT WAY FROM ROCKS AND JETTIES WHILE OBSERVING HIGH SURF…OR AFTER BEING KNOCKED DOWN BY LOGS AND OTHER DEBRIS.
"The Friday after Thanksgiving was gorgeous —mostly clear skies, warm temperatures and, for many, the desire to get out of the house after being cooped up the rainy and windy day before.
Unaware — or maybe just not concerned — that there was a high surf warning issued by the National Weather Service, people flocked to the South Jetty. We went down there with the idea of watching the waves from the car, but seeing so many people — I counted 80 at one point — drew us onto the beach as well.
People were jumping waves, playing in the beach foam and looking for agates. A huge log was being lifted by the surf, which, every seventh wave or so, was rushing up the beach, sending people scattering for dry sand.
I watched the log and the people standing directly behind it, one of them crouched down looking for agates, wondering if I should warn them of the danger.
What I need to know is what part of “high surf warning” do these people not understand? And yet I was there too. Seems I’ve also forgotten years ago when I first moved here being trapped under a huge log, losing my glasses, camera and shoes when a wave came over us in a cave near Face Rock.
Friday, I cringed every time the ocean came and moved the log, but thankfully, no one was trapped or caught by a sneaker wave.
But I urge all beach-goers to be aware of the tides, check the NWS before you go to the beach and use extreme caution. The ocean is beautiful and deceptively serene, yet potentially deadly."