Many of us who live here in coastal Oregon and Washington are too familiar with the sad stories of people, often children, being pulled out to sea by rip currents and sneaker waves on area beaches.

But residents who try to warn visitors of the dangers often get a hostile response. What’s the average citizen’s responsibility here? And is there more we can do as beach communities to warn people of the dangers without scaring them away altogether, when tourism is an important part of the region’s livelihood?