Navigate our Local Beaches Safely

With the recent drowning of an 8-year-old girl, parents are wondering if it is safe to take their children to the ocean. James Strong, a local parent who says he’s been surfing Northern California for over 30 years and Humboldt for over 20, put together this video to explain what to look for when choosing a beach for your kids.

In the video, he points out what local beaches to be particularly wary of—Black Sands in Shelter Cove, Klamath River Beach near the mouth of the Klamath, Big Lagoon Beach, and Centerville Beach near Ferndale. Those are the most dangerous but Agate Beach, Freshwater Beach, Stone and Dry Lagoon beaches are also of concern. He talks about what makes them dangerous and how to tell when they are safer.



  • Thanks Kym for posting this video. Nice and simple and easy to understand. Thank you James Strong for taking the time to put this together.

  • Thank you for the excellent video on beach safety. You have performed a great service in making this information available.

    It is too bad that our local beaches don’t have signs or audios providing this type of information for the uninformed, (most of us) and tourists. At a minimum steep beaches should have alert signs warning of the dangers. To my knowledge there aren’t any.

    It would also be great if this video could be made available to local classroom teachers and used as we do fire drills, etc., so that children will learn from repetitive exposures about beach safety.

  • Thank you! Great information.

  • Great presentation. If only there was a way to mandate each parent taking their children to the beach to watch this.

  • Thank you for finally including Centerville! I was there for a b-day party of 3yr olds in soccer goalie position at the steep drop off the whole day because the other parents were oblivious.

  • What a great presentation that may save your life or that of someone else’s some day. Thank you James for sharing your knowledge and putting this together in such a clear manner. Thank you Kym for posting this.

  • groba dude osnt trustafarian

    Teach your kids to respect the ocean! Make sure you respect it yourself!

    ALSO: Be sure your children learn to SWIM! As soon as they can walk, or preferably sooner! THEN, perhaps, take them around large bodies of water!

    Remember, your children are capable of dying. Keep them safe! Stay sober until they grow up!

    This has been an unpaid public service announcement.

  • I’m not very familiar with our beaches. He listed Moonstone, Samoa, and a third I couldn’t figure out as being relatively safer. Can anyone clarify the third one or recommend others?

  • Camel beach was other. I think it is called camel rock beach north of Trinidad off Scenic Dr? I’m sure someone will correct me if I got it wrong.

  • For ultimate wave safety, I recommend the bay shore beaches a bit north of the Samoa boat ramp on the bay side of the Samoa peninsula. Shallow with just a little bit of wave action. There’s another bay shore beach at King Salmon. Further, the lagoon beaches for Big Lagoon also have many shallow, sandy areas and no surf or current.

    All the usual drowning cautions remain regarding water in general of course.

    • The Lagoon side may have shallow sandy spots, it is not safe. Multiple drownings have occurred there. The water is cold and there is a current when the ocean breaches. Life jackets should be worn by all children who are in or near the water. My husband drowned in the Lagoon. A toddler drowned 2 years ago. Don’t underestimate the danger.

  • wow! This was amazing stuff. Had a lot of substance and meaning. What a great presentation James!

  • James Strong, Thank you so much for making this video. It might save someone’s life. I hope to never again read of a death because someone was swept into the water at one of our beaches. You’ve given the community some great information here.

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