Message from James Oeder, Fire Chief, Nestucca RFPD
Over the last 2 days, June 20th and 21st, the District responded to 2 water rescues. One on McPhillips Beach and the other on Neskowin Beach. Both incidents resulted in no injuries, but both could have turned into possible drownings. A total of 6 people were involved and needed assistance to return to the beach.
Nestucca Rural Fire Protection District wants to remind everyone that the ocean can change very fast and put a person’s life in danger. Both incidents were during the tide change and the ocean was very rough. All the people involved were caught in a rip tide that made it difficult to get out of the water.
Please enjoy your visit but please stay safe in and around the water.
This weekend on Manzanita Beach – another rescue that involved a good samaritan that also had a positive outcome. Nehalem Bay Fire and Rescue reported on their Facebook page: NBFR Water Rescue, Manzanita Beach @ 2:28pm, June 18th. A positive outcome, but also a good opportunity to remind both locals and visitors that our ocean has strong currents that can easily be underestimated, even by skilled/strong swimmers. Joshua Smith was on the beach when he saw a distressed swimmer in the distance, he quickly grabbed someone’s surfboard and safely brought the distressed swimmer to shore prior to the arrival of NBFR and EMS. Shout out to Joshua! #herooftheday
EDITOR’S NOTE: Every time, yes, every time I visit a beach I witness unsafe behavior that usually involves children without life jackets on and with adults way too far away to attempt rescue, AND often (again almost always) swimming/playing in an area that’s a rip tide. Do not allow your children to play in any body of water without wearing a flotation device. There are life jackets stations at many of our local lakes and rivers. Keep your children close when they are in the water, even with a life jacket on. It happens in seconds. And as adults, do not underestimate the cold water temperatures, tides and currents. Please, please be safe out there.
Every year we are writing about tragic water rescues (https://www.tillamookcountypioneer.net/water-beach-safety-tips-ahead-of-weekend-heat-please-be-aware-use-care-out-there/) and with the warm weather this weekend and ocean and water temperatures being VERY cold – there is more concern.
Observe the ocean. The areas “calm, no waves” are the MOST DANGEROUS! That’s a riptide. Wear a life jacket – especially on kids by any water. Remember there are no lifeguards on Tillamook County beaches. Be aware and stay safe. Never turn your back on the ocean.