Safety First

Be swept away by the beauty, NOT by the sea!

These cliffs are dangerous!

Guidelines for Ocean Safety

Keep yourself, your family, friends, and pets safe by following these guidelines. Prevention, not rescue, is the best solution to accidents that may occur abruptly and with surprise.

  • Avoid standing on or near the edge of any cliff or bluff. Sudden erosion can dump you into the sea.
  • Never go near or into the ocean alone. An adult should accompany a child even on rocks and beaches.
  • Watch for oversized waves fifteen to thirty minutes before approaching water or rocks. Use a designated spotter to monitor waves and strong currents.
  • Proper clothing is essential: life jackets are recommended for children when on rocks, tide pooling or the beach.
  • Beware the sleeper, sneaker, or rogue wave. These can appear without warning, often surging upon the beach or rocks with deadly force. They are unpredictable; occur often, and may come in series.
  • Assume that strong waves, especially during high tides, can reach you across jetties and headlands.
  • Avoid exposed rocks, jetties, and headlands during and after storms.


People who fall from the bluffs or are swept out to sea seldom survive. Water temperature is in the low to mid 50 degree range. Hypothermia will happen in 10 to 20 minutes.

Safety Rules To Remember


  • Never turn your back on the ocean.
  • Keep children close to you.
  • Know when tides change.
  • Expect rapidly changing conditions.
  • Avoid slippery rocks.
  • Never beachcomb, fish, kayak, or dive alone.
  • Learn to swim.

When Things Go Wrong



If you see anyone in distress on the bluffs, on the rocks, or in the ocean: CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY.* If someone falls over a cliff or is washed away, provide the sign number to the 911 center. The sign to the west of the lighthouse is 31. The sign by the cove to the south is 30.

Do not go into the water.

Do not attempt a rescue.

It may take an hour or longer for help to arrive.

*Cell phone signals are generally available in the Mendocino area now, but reception may not be reliable along the coastal edge.