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'Don't turn your back on the ocean': Warmer weather draws more visitors to the beach

(SBG)

BANDON, Ore. -- It's spring and the beaches are drawing a lot of visitors to the Oregon coast, but many aren’t aware of the dangers on the beach.

Spring and the warmer weather always results in an uptick of beach visitors.

"The sun is starting to shine, temperatures are getting warm-ish, but it's still very much winter here on the coast; the ocean can still be pretty unpredictable," says Stephanie Krug with Oregon State Parks.

The park specialist says their one simple rule can mean the difference between life and death.

"You've heard it a million times: Don't turn your back on the ocean; keep your eye on the ocean. Sneaker waves can come in very quickly, very powerfully and unexpected, so it's important to that you're keeping your eye on the ocean so you don't get trapped."

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

Last spring, a teenage girl was killed on a beach in Bandon when a log rolled on top of her.

"Logs in the surf are very dangerous,” Krug says, “you want to stay away from those but not only in the surf; any logs on the wet sand can weigh tons - several tons - and still be lifted by the ocean in just a few inches of water.”

She says preparation goes a long way to keeping you safe on the coast.

"Knowing the weather is important too,” says Krug. “If there's storm rolling in, a lot of times those waves are going to be bigger and more unexpected, but you could also have those big waves on a beautiful, sunny day too, so it's always important to go prepared in your mind, to be aware and use caution at all times."

More safety information can be found at oregonstateparks.org.

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