SEASIDE, Ore. -- Tens of thousands of people escaping the heat of the Willamette Valley are expected at the Oregon coast this weekend.
Those who were already there Friday, enjoyed sunny skies and temperatures in the mid 70s.
“Oh my goodness! You couldn’t ask for better weather,” said SaDora Hamspon, visiting from Seattle.
“I love this place. Absolutely love it!” She said.
Thousands of gathered on Seaside’s sandy beaches and many played in the frigid water.
“Ice bucket challenge. Ice bucket challenge!" shouted one teen.
Ice bucket indeed. The water temperature is 57 degrees.
The U. S. Coast Guard in Astoria warned visitors not to jump in the ocean, thinking it will feel good.
“You’re going to get cold water shock and the first thing your body’s going to do is take a deep breath once you hit the water. That means you’re going to swallow water and you’re going to get water inside you and its going to cause you a problem,” said Petty Officer First Class Levi Read.
Helicopters and rescue boats will make their normal patrols this weekend, ready if needed.
On the sand in Seaside, one of the few lifeguard towers on the Oregon coast watched for trouble.
Others in SUVs patrolled the wet sand for swimmers who need help. For the most part Friday was safe on the Seaside beach.
But the fire department's Chief of Operations says some people are too confident about what they can handle.
“People stay out too long and before they know it they're getting cold and hypothermic. They're not thinking clearly they're getting muscle cramps because they're not coming back in, taking breaks, drinking water,” said David Rankin.
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