Couple survives sneaker wave along Lincoln City beach

Sneaker wave in Lincoln City - KATU photo.jpg

A Beaverton couple is lucky to be alive after they said a sneaker wave pulled them into the ocean near Lincoln City.

"It was scary, it was horrifying," Tom Barnes told KATU News.

Tom and Ronda Barnes came to the coastal town to celebrate their 26th wedding anniversary.

The two were walking on the beach near their hotel room with their two miniature schnauzers, Clyde and Brinkley. Tom said he tried to run up the beach when a wave came up quickly on shore.

"The wave hit me in the back of the head and Clyde and I just tumbled underneath the water," he said.

In front of him he said he saw the wave overpower his wife.

"The way that it took me forward, but it was a vacuum... it sucked me back out way far away from Tom but I couldn't see him at all," Ronda said.

Luckily, the two were able to make it out of the water with their dogs.

The couple said they'd heard about sneaker waves before but never thought he'd get caught up in one.

"It was so powerful. I can understand why people get pulled out because you really have no control ."

The Oregon Parks Department says they’re called “sneaker waves” because they appear without warning, and are impossible to predict.

“Sneaker waves also carry a large amount of sand that can saturate your clothes, weighing you down and making escape difficult if not impossible,” parks officials said.

Their best advice? Never turn your back on the ocean.

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