This holiday weekend, with its gorgeous weather, drew many visitors to Pacific Northwest beaches. For one family, the weekend ended in tragedy, as a 14 year old boy was swept out to sea off Long Beach, Washington. Another life claimed by the ocean, because someone did not understand what they were up against here, despite posted warning signs, and numerous deaths annually.

The bottom line here is this: Pacific Northwest waters are not a pool, not a lake, not a placid beach in Hawaii or Florida where the water is like a bathtub and the waves are gentle. It’s cold, there are merciless currents and your chances of dying are high.

For the average visitor, these waters are not safe to swim in. But clearly, the message is not getting out to people.