Teens have close brush with drowning

<I>KEVIN HEIMBIGNER photo</I><BR>Summer is here as skimboarders hit the beach at Klipsan, but as an incident last week reminds, our ocean is a dangerous place deserving utmost caution and respect.

PACIFIC COUNTY - On Saturday, June 30 at 6:02 p.m., Pacific County Fire District No. 1 and South Pacific County Technical Rescue were dispatched to three swimmers in distress on the beach near the Ocean Park beach approach.

Crews arrived within five minutes of the dispatch to find three teenage males out of the water, "spitting" out water. Medical crews treated the patients for hypothermia and ultimately the three patients denied transport to the hospital for evaluation. Three medical units responded with five personnel.

In an all too common story, the three individuals reported standing in waist deep water, when there legs were swept out from beneath them. They were then sucked out past the "break zone," as they attempted to swim against the current. Fortunately, one of the males was washed out of the current and was able to pull his two friends to safety.

This serves as a reminder during those warm days that swimming in the ocean is dangerous. Hidden holes, riptides, currents and cool water temperatures are a recipe for sudden and unexpected life threatening conditions. If at all possible, enjoy the beauty of the ocean from a distance and respect its vast power.

For more information about beach safety, please contact or stop by the Peninsula Visitor Center, Ocean Park Fire Station and Seaview Fire Station. This information is made possible through local agencies, funded by donations and put together by the South Pacific County Technical Rescue Team.

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