Steep Beach Warning!

Cliff Berkowitz / Thursday, May 10, 2018 @ 9:17 a.m. / Nature

This morning I had the pleasure of talking with Troy Nicolini of the National Weather Service office in Eureka. In the wake of the recent tragedy involving a young girl at the beach of Big Lagoon, the local office of the National Weather Service has put out a new Steep Beach Warning. 

Many of the beaches here in Humboldt County, especially at the lagoons have "steep beaches." These are beaches that drop quickly from the shore. These beaches can be deadly due to the fact that ocean waves are able to reach the shore with full force and power. Once in the water, it is very hard to get a foot hold, combined with strong riptides and very cold water it makes it nearly impossible to escape without a wetsuit and flotation. The past 15 years have seen 10 deaths at beaches of this type.

More gradual beach such as Clam Beach and Moonstone beach are much safer. However, all beaches need to be approached with respect.