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Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Dangerous Season.


Beaches. Places to relax, sit and ponder the beauty and power of the universe.
All summer long, visitors will spend hours on these beaches, walking them, combing the ground for shells, pebbles, agates, driftwood, lost civilizations.

Children will be running around chasing each other, chasing birds, running after waves.
And even adults will attempt to surf and play in the cold waters without giving much thought to its dangers.

Yes, this is the killing season on most beaches.  No. I'm not talking about sharks or boat accidents, though these will make the evening news.  I'm talking about rip tides with big undertow, logs being slammed on shore, people being dragged out to sea.

People have turned their backs to the Ocean and they have been assaulted by errant waves, thrown down, battered. all in a matter of seconds.  It happened to me while I was taking pictures on a beautifully sunny day with gentle winds.  I was not paying attention to the waves, and didn't see one come at me. I was knocked down and pulled under for what seemed like a very long time. When I was finally able to stand up,  and moved away, I realized how cavalier I had been.  I had been warned that people drowned in this area;  the warning signs all spelled out the dangers.
I had not paid any attention.
Enjoy the beaches on your vacation.

But, read and heed the warning signs.




44 comments:

Melissa Ann Goodwin said...

That must have been incredibly frightening!!! Living in the desert, I miss the ocean so much and cannot wait for us to be able to begin our RV adventure because we will spend as much time as possible on ocean beaches, lakes and by streams. I love the water, but you have to remember that power - so thank you for the reminder.

The Red Angel said...

Sadly I don't know how to swim and being under the sun for too long gives me terrible migraines so I don't really get to enjoy the beach very much.

My sister almost drowned in the ocean when she was just five, so I know how dangerous the waters can be if one isn't careful!

~TRA

http://xtheredangelx.blogspot.com

Brian Miller said...

yikes. yes ma'am...too many things we get lulled by the fun or beauty and then...whamm-o. glad you were ok....

yaya said...

What a scary thing to have happen..I live no where near a beach, but I'm very careful when it comes to water. A neighbor boy who was a very good swimmer drown in a pond in our neighborhood when I was growing up. Some things you just never forget.

SG said...

I can't imagine how horrifying that would have been. I have always loved beaches, although for most part of my life I have not lived in cities that do not have a beach. Whenever I have lived in such places, going to the beach at least once every week has been part of my routine. A cottage at walking distance from a beach is my dream home when I retire. Am just wondering if something like this happened to me, would I still feel so fearless on a beachfront.

#1Nana said...

Good reminder of the power of nature.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

A valuable reminder, Rosaria! I'm so glad you're okay after your frightening experience. That happened to me some years ago and I've never forgotten it. I love the ocean, but am respectful of its power and unpredictability.

quilterliz said...

G'day Rosaria. It's a frightening thing to happen. When I was about sixteen or so, much the same thing happened to me and I have never forgotten it and since then I have been very wary of the ocean.Thank goodness you were ok. Take care. Liz...

Moannie said...

That happened to me in what I had considered a calm sea. Truly frightening and the swirly choking sandy assault seemed to last forever.

I do love a beach full of flotsom, and those logs-I would have to strain my back taking them home for winters fires or to carve.

the walking man said...

I saw enough ocean in the navy to know I need not see anymore. Not from ship or shore.

Maggie May said...

As I don't swim, I am very careful near water.
That experience makes you glad to be alive!
Keep safe.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Amanda said...

this is very frightening - you post an important warning. waves can appear harmless but once you're caught in the undertow it is difficult to swim away. i have always heard it you do get caught, to swim parallel to the shore.

Eva Gallant said...

Excellent reminder. We have already seen 3 beach deaths here in Maine. One girl caught in the undertow, and a man in his son who went into a river for a swim with their clothes on and died of hypothermia. And the season has just begun.

Arkansas Patti said...

So glad you are all right. This is an important reminder. We forget just how powerful the ocean is.

joeh said...

First rule of the beach; Never turn your back on the ocean!

I must of been told that 1000 times a year.

Good post.

Cathy Webster (Olliffe) said...

That's terribly scary! I'm glad everything turned out OK. Just last year an acquaintance lost her life in the tide. She was a retired educator, a brilliant woman, a strong swimmer... everyone wondered how this could happen.
Now we know.
Thanks for the warning.

becky said...

Yes, this is the dangerous season, alright...when everyone is out enjoying nature in all sorts of ways. Rivers, mountains, sports, camping, boating...lots more...

Joani said...

I'm one of those who can't swim either.....childhood trauma.....so, I am very careful of my surroundings and especially water. Glad you are okay. Water....we need it for a lot of things but oh, the things it can do....cause mold, cause rivers running rampant, too much water kills plants, etc., etc. Go figure.

Linda Myers said...

I once fished my five-year-old son out of the water when he was surprised by a wave. Terrifying.

I never turn my back on the ocean.

Nance said...

Here, we lose at least a handful of tourists each year to fierce undertows. Signs on our beaches warn of them, but what local tourism mongers would EVER allow their beach to behave so badly? (I figure that's the reasoning, if any reasoning there be.)

Rob-bear said...

Glad that you survived your misadventure. Ocean waves can be sinister as well as beautiful.

Hope you have a safe summer!

Helen said...

Ohhhhhh ~ I cringed reading every word of that terrifying experience. I am not a confident swimmer, a little wading into ocean waters is about all I can manage. You have made me realize that even an innocent tip-toe has the potential to turn deadly.

Thank you so much for the lovely Jennifer comment.

Pseudo said...

Over here, people (usually tourists but sometimes a fisherman)go way to far out on the cliffs on the south shore and get swept off by a big wave. It never ends well.

However, if you know where to go and how to respect the ocean, it is the womb of transformation. I swim and body board as much as I can in the summer.

ds said...

No, we should never turn our backs to the sea. Glad you were okay after your fright (it would have frightened me)--and very glad that you are still enjoying the beach!

Lydia said...

Such an important post. Many do not know about the dangers, and the warning signs are few and far between.

Z said...

Rivers too, there are instances here every year of people drowning in pools and rivers because they don't understand that natural water has dangers that a swimming pool does not, and that it's not under the same level of supervision. A timely warning, Rosaria.

Simon said...

Glad you are OK!

Nancy said...

The Oregon Coast is know for this. I always worry when my family is visiting the beach because they really do not have ocean sense, having been raised in the high mountain desert.

She Writes said...

Indeed!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Oh, my goodness. I'm glad you realised in time! You are right - these things can happen so quickly.

A Cuban In London said...

What an experience! And it must have been terrifying. I always tell my children (and myself), that whatever the sea gives, the sea will take away.

Greetings from London.

Hilary said...

What a frightening experience for you. Good advice here, Rosaria. No surprise there.

ellen abbott said...

whoa! so glad you regained your feet. I've been caught in an undertow or two in my years at the beach. the end of Galveston island where the gulf and the bay met was always very treacherous. I never swam there though others did.

Vagabonde said...

That must have been quite scary. You are right, so many people are not careful and don’t realize that the sea can be very dangerous.

SharonLou said...

Let's just say, I have a very, very healthy respect for water, especially the ocean! By the way, just found your blog, and I love it!

Dawn said...

So scary when you have no control! Good warnings...beaches and the ocean are so beautiful~ but so "uncontrolled".

RNSANE said...

I am back home, finally, after a five day hospital stay!

This post is really scary. Most of the beaches in our area are quite dangerous because of currents and rip tides. It scares me so much when mothers are down at Ocean Beach, allowing their toddlers to walk along the water. Signs are posted, blatantly warning against swimming and saying that people have died!

Phoenix said...

Good, timely warning. I think most people think that they are invincible against the ocean. Not so.... and fun can be had while staying safe. Thanks for posting.

Rachel Cotterill said...

Wow, I never would have thought about that as a possibility. The seas where I live are fairly gentle! I'm in Portland at the moment and I had no idea I was close to such a dangerous coast...

NitWit1 said...

Oh My==that sounds very scary. I would ask about the camera , but at that moment it certainly was not an important item.

We have a popular trout river in my area with a lot of what we call undertow. Since its depth is determined by generation from an upstream dam, many persons wade to fly fish and ignore the rising water.

There have been many sad wading and also flat bottom boat accidents.

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Teri and the cats of Curlz and Swirlz said...

Photographers often are so absorbed in what they are looking at through the lens that they are caught unaware, as you know. I came close to drowning river rafting once and it is terrifying and sobering...