12:57pm Newport Fire Rescue was called to Nye Beach off the end of the turnaround early this afternoon on a report of an older woman who fell in the surf, at about the surf line.
Arriving fire-rescue personnel found the woman who was complaining of pain in her hip.
She was loaded aboard the fire department’s Humvee Beach rig, and at the turnaround she was transferred to an awaiting PacWest ambulance.
Newport Fire Chief Rob Murphy says the beaches are crowded with refugees from the heat in the Willamette Valley. He said weather will remain warm over there so they’re expecting a busy week along the coast.
Chief Murphy said beachgoers should wear lots of sunscreen and use caution if you haven’t been to the beach in a while. He said be especially watchful for rip currents that can quickly haul a person as far offshore as the length of a football field and keep going. Remember, you can’t outswim a rip current, but you can swim perpendicular to it – up beach or down beach – until you’re free. Then you can swim back to shore.
And paramedics remind us that drinking heavily at the beach can be very dangerous. Don’t drink and then playfully throw yourself into the water. The ocean off Oregon is very cool, if not downright cold. It’s part of the cold Alaskan current and also fed by deep upwellings offshore. Alcohol causes your blood to move to the outer reaches of your skin to help throw off the alcohol. And in so doing it makes your blood system very vulnerable to the cold water. Hypothermia sets in faster with someone who’s drunk. Once you go “hypo” you lose control of your muscles and what little clear thinking you may have had, goes right out your ears. And you die.
Don’t mix alcohol with salt water.