Every summer, people head to the Westport Washington beach for fun and sand. As you sink your toes into the sand, be aware of the following Beach Safety Tips and steps you can take to make sure you and your family have fun while remaining safe.
While the ocean water is beautiful, it can also be very deadly. Washington coast has some of the strongest currents in the world. Watch for large logs in the surf being washed ashore. Swimming in the ocean requires different skills then swimming in a pool. It’s best you learn how to swim in the surf. While you’re enjoying the water, keep alert and check the local weather conditions. Only swim sober and never swim alone. Even if you’re confident in your swimming skills, make sure you have enough energy to swim back to shore.
Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets in and the around water.
In shallow water, wave action can cause a loss of footing, so pay close attention to children and the elderly when at the beach.
Keep a lookout for aquatic life. The beach is full of wildlife including baby seals. The newborn pups are placed on the shore by their mothers, who return to the water to feed. If a seal pup is moved or touched by humans their mothers will not take them back and will leave them to die. Do NOT touch seal pups. If you spot seal that appears to be in distress, notify the local authorities.
Take your garbage with you from the beach. Garbage can be deadly to the local wildlife especially the many beautiful shore birds.
Rip currents are especially hazardous and can result in deadly outcomes to swimmers. Rip currents can form in any large open water area, such as low spots and breaks in sandbars, or near structures such as jetties and piers. Understand that a rip current will probably not pull you underwater; it will only pull you away from the shore. A rip can only go short distance but can also go out several hundred yards.
For your safety, be aware of the danger of rip currents and remember the following:
If you are caught in a rip current, stay calm and don’t fight the current. DO NOT PANIC !!
Try and touch the bottom. If you can’t touch the bottom, do not struggle against the current. Rip victims drown because they become exhausted fighting the current. Conserve your energy for methodically swimming and staying afloat.
Swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current. Once you are free, turn and swim toward shore.
If you can’t swim to the shore, float on your back or tread water until you are free of the rip current and then head toward shore.
If you feel you can’t make it to the shore, draw attention to yourself by waving your arms and yelling for help. If someone is in trouble in the water, get help immediately from a lifeguard or by calling 911.
Stay at least 100 feet away from piers and jetties. Permanent rip currents often exist near these structures.
Always be aware of water conditions, beach conditions, or any potential hazards.
Beach Vehicle and Pedestrian Safety
The beach is considered a state highway and all of the rules of the road apply. You must obey all posted signs on beach approaches and on the beaches. Below is a list of some of the laws to be aware of:
All vehicles must be licensed and street legal.
All drivers must have a valid driver’s license.
You must drive on the uppermost hard-packed sand and not in the sand dunes or near the surf.
The beach speed limit is 25 mph but may have to be slower if conditions are poor or it endangers others and wildlife.
You can’t do ‘donuts’ or circling on the beach.
All persons on motorcycles or mopeds are required to wear a helmet.
Do not drive in posted closed areas.
Do not drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
This does not represent a complete list of beach vehicle rules. It does however, represent the most frequently violated ones.
Beach Fire Safety
Building a bon fire is such a fun way to finish your day at the beach. However you must be aware of the fire safety rules that apply in Westport Washington.
Fires are allowed but can’t be in or near the dunes.
Fires are not allowed in the larger pieces of driftwood.
Don’t build fires near dune grass and watch for any drifting embers.
Extinguish your fire completely before leaving.