Recreational Safety Home


Life Guards, Hypothermia. Personal Flotation Devices


Seas and Swells, Wave Size, Anecdotes, Tide Pools, Playing in the Spray, Russian Roulette - Morro Bay Style


Boating in the Bay, Boating in the Ocean, Morro Bay’s Rough Bar, Fog, Suction


Falling Objects
Stinging Nettle
Mountain Lions


How Far Can Waves Reach, Mortality Statistics, Off The Road Vehicles, Mountain Biking, Miscellany


And On Land

Every year someone falls from one of the 30 to 80 foot bluffs between Montano de Oro and Avilla. The basic problem is people standing too close to the edge. The entire West Coast is eroding 7 inches a year on average. Points of land, like Point Buchon, are damaged fastest; 12 feet has been lost in a single big storm, and 17 feet in a bad season. Locally, large waves undercut the cliffs, which then collapse suddenly without warning.
Every three years or so someone falls while illegally climbing Morro Rock. Don’t try it; you will be caught!

Falling Objects
There have been no recent deaths, but the potential exists:

Big Boulder

The blasting done at Morro Rock prior to 1965 loosened things up. Three times we’ve had rock falls at the Rock in the past ten years, and there’s more to come. In the December 2006 earthquake I was standing at the kiosk and heard a big boulder rattling about several hundred feet above me.

At Avilla in 2007 two young men were buried when a bluff collapsed on them. Fortunately, several others saw it happen and were able to dig the victims free.

Undercut Bank
Undercut bank

Trees and big tree limbs fall. In 2007 a new Jaguar was demolished when a eucalyptus fell across Pecho Valley Road in Montano de Oro State Park. The blow was received by the hood of the car. The windshield shattered, but the owners of the car, who were driving down the road when the accident happened, were not hurt.

Two youths were buried when the sand caves they were digging at Hazard Reef Overlook collapsed on them. They were rescued by family members. Holes in the sand should never be dug more than knee deep.

Stinging Nettle
          Look out for scattered tall individual stalks in moist location.
The plant produces a burning, stinging pain within seconds of contact with bare skin that lasts up to three days.

Stinging Nettle
Stinging Nettle

Direct or indirect, e.g. petting a dog or brushing a horse, contact with this plant produces the sudden onset of an intensely itchy, or occasionally painful, red rash hours to ten days later. See my web site at curtbeebe.com for a complete explanation.

Continue to And On Land, Page 2

All content copyright Dr. Curt Beebe. Please do not use without permission.