In preparation for deactivating the Surf Rescue Team, the City has ordered additional signs which will be posted at City beach approaches and at fresh water access points. The signs warn that no lifeguard is on duty and that dangerous rip currents can harm the unwary. The signs will be posted prior to the deactivation date.
In addition to calling out the Surf Rescue Team for water emergencies close to shore, the 911 center always calls the Coast Guard. The Westport Coast Guard Station will respond, but they are about forty-five minutes by boat from the main Ocean Shores beach approach. They are not, however, capable of operating in the surf. Their boats require about twenty feet of clearance from the sea bottom. The Coast Guard Air Station in Astoria, OR, is capable of water rescues, but is about thirty-five air minutes by air from Ocean Shores when available.
The City will seek grants and donations to reactivate the team. Through the generosity of organizations and individuals, the Mayor believes she can gather enough funding to keep the Surf Rescue Team working through the coming months when tourist activity is heaviest in Ocean Shores and the North Beach. The team has also been available throughout the County for water rescues under a mutual-aid agreement with the Sheriff’s Office.
In the meantime, residents and visitors are urged to be especially careful in the water and to dial 911 immediately in case of a water emergency.