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Headed to the Oregon Coast on Sunday? Watch out for sneaker waves

OregonLive.com logo OregonLive.com 11/16/2020 Aimee Green, oregonlive.com
a person standing next to a body of water: Dangerous waves expected Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020. © Mark Graves / Staff / File photo/oregonlive.com/TNS Dangerous waves expected Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020.

Officials are urging the public to exercise “extreme caution” along the northern and central Oregon coasts Sunday.

Sneaker waves are expected to wash high up onto the area’s beaches and jetties, potentially sweeping people or pets into the ocean with them.

Sneaker waves are waves that reach up onto shore much farther than expected, based on previous wave patterns. People can be caught off guard and swept out to sea.

The warnings for Sunday also apply to the southern Washington coast.

Officials say keep watch of the ocean at all times. Also, stay clear of any logs that the waves could quickly roll onto people nearby, injuring or killing them.

Officials have issued a “high surf advisory” until 7 p.m. Sunday for an area including Seaside, Cannon Beach and Lincoln City. Surf heights are forecast for between 20 and 27 feet.

a rocky beach next to the ocean: This is the area where emergency crews responded to reports Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, that a father and his two children, later identified as Jeremy Stiles of Portland and Lola Stiles, 7, and William Stiles, 4, had been swept into the ocean by a sneaker wave, according to dispatcher recordings. © Mark Graves | The Oregonian/OregonLive/oregonlive.com/TNS This is the area where emergency crews responded to reports Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, that a father and his two children, later identified as Jeremy Stiles of Portland and Lola Stiles, 7, and William Stiles, 4, had been swept into the ocean by a sneaker wave, according to dispatcher recordings.

“Destructive waves may wash over beaches, jetties, and other structures unexpectedly,” states the National Weather Service. “People can be swept off rocks and jetties and drown while observing high surf.”

In January, two Portland children, ages 4 and 7, died after a wave suddenly washed high up onto shore and swept them away in the Cape Falcon area between Seaside and Manzanita. Their father, who also was swept into the ocean, survived.

-- Aimee Green; agreen@oregonian.com; @o_aimee

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©2020 The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.)

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