Two men enjoying the beach at Bob Creek State Park south of Yachats had their fun interrupted Tuesday when a big wave hit the beach, knocking one of them down and pulling him into the surf. As the other tried to rescue his friend, a strong surge shoved them both into a cave that was part of a large rock outcropping from the beach. Both were unable to escape the cave due to strong wave surges in the area. They remained trapped inside the cave.
Another person on the beach called 9-1-1 and alerted local fire rescue which quickly raced to the scene. Here’s the sequence of events:
Yachats Fire-Rescue is racing south on Highway 101 south of Yachats at Bob Creek, on a report that two young males are stuck either in or just outside a cave facing the ocean at that location. Yachats Fire-Rescue is enroute.
Coast Guard Rescue Helo in Newport has been notified so they can launch immediately if needed.
Rescuers say they can’t get to the two trapped males. Coast Guard helo out of Newport has been given a “go” to launch and rendezvous at Bob Creek State Park, south of Yachats in Lane County.
Can’t find them.
Rescuers now say they’ve spotted the two. A rope rescue team has been dispatched to the scene at Bob Creek State Park.
The rescue is gathering right at mile post 170, six miles south of Yachats. Coast Guard helo has been summoned to the scene.
The Coast Guard has lifted both stranded males up into the helicopter and are being flown to the Newport Airport to meet an ambulance to take them to PCH in Newport to be checked out.
MORAL OF THE STORY:
Visitors to any Oregon beach should be very respectful of the power of strong wave surges. Don’t jump out of your car and make a bee-line for the water. Be cautious. Approach the beach carefully – notice how the waves are breaking and how far up the beach they reach.
Take note of how steep the shore bottom drops away from the beach. Some beaches drop off very fast with water depths going from two feet to 20 feet in less than a few steps. It’s called an underwater cliff. And you can’t see them even if you look closely. If you can’t see the bottom, don’t go out there. Steep drop offs are more common in rocky coastal areas. Long wide beaches are the safest places to enjoy the ocean.
And never-ever-ever turn your back on the ocean. Sneaker waves can build up offshore and come in far more powerfully than what you were seeing just moments before. And when they hit they can knock you off your feet, then pull you out into deep water, far from shore. People die every year along Oregon’s coastline due to sneaker waves.
When you’re at the beach, be alert! Know where you are and watch your children like a hawk. Oregon waves are a lot more powerful and thicker than waves in California because Oregon is a lot closer to where the waves are generated in the north Pacific. They’re a whole different animal. Treat them accordingly.