The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a special statement Saturday alerting the Oregon and Washington coasts of an increased risk of sneaker waves today and hardly anyone on the beach knows it.
An investigation Sunday at D River Wayside revealed most visitors had no idea there was a sneaker-wave danger. Interview upon interview of people walking the beach showed that about one in 15 knew about the advisory.
Steve and Joanne, visiting for the day from Portland, said they were unaware of the warning.
“We just like coming to enjoy the sights. Rarely do we go down on the beach,” Steve said.
A McMinnville couple knew about the warning, adding, “We never turn our backs on the ocean.”
Camas, Wash., visitors, who had been playing on the rocks, said they were unaware of the warning.
“The City should put a sign up,” they said. “We saw the high surf sign, but not one for sneaker waves.”
College students from Monmouth welcomed being notified of the warning and said they would “stay vigilant.”
When asked if knowing about a greater chance of sneaker waves would change their beach behavior, most people said they would stay further away from the ocean and be a bit more cautious.
“Just be aware of your surroundings,” Krista Heidan, from Battleground, Wash., said. “Don’t get lost in the moment.”