Officials concerned about beach safety in Grays Harbor
Grays Harbor County is a showcase of beautiful beaches for all citizens as well as millions of visitors each year, this year, many in search of Japanese Tsunami debris. As beautiful as the Pacific Ocean appears from the beach, the surf can be extremely dangerous to unsuspecting people wading along the shoreline.
Grays Harbor County Emergency Management has contacted various lifeguard associations and was informed that due to the cold water temperatures, extreme surf and rip current possibilities specific to our shoreline, people should:
- NEVER go into the surf alone.
- Wading in the surf should be restricted to no higher than a person’s knees.
- If you get caught in the grip of a rip current:
- Yell for help immediately.
- Don’t swim against a rip current – it will just tire you out.
- Escape the rip current by swimming parallel to the beach until you are free.
- If you are unable to swim out of the rip current, float or calmly tread water.
- When out of the current, swim toward the shore at an angle away from the rip current
The Pacific Ocean along the Grays Harbor County shoreline sustains an average temperature between 45-55 degrees depending on the season and month. According to the United States Search & Rescue Task Force, the expected time a person swept out to sea would become exhausted or drift into unconsciousness is 30 minutes to 90 minutes. The expected time of survival is between 1-4 hours.
For those searching for tsunami debris, IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT IT IS, DON’T TOUCH IT! Report your findings to Grays Harbor County Emergency Management at (360) 249-3911. If you find suspected hazardous or dangerous materials, please call 911 immediately.