These river bars are incredibly dangerous. The Coast Guard regularly closes the bars to recreational vessel traffic. At times the Columbia Bar is so rough ocean going ships don't cross. The challenge is assuring recreational boaters are aware of the current conditions and comply with any restrictions. If someone drives two hours to go fishing and spends an hour getting underway they may be tempted to attempt a bar crossing even if they know the bar is closed. It is also possible for inexperienced boaters to be unaware of bar closures. In either case this puts the boater in extreme danger and puts the Coast Guardsmen called upon to make the rescue in peril as well.
If you are a boater please check the conditions before you cross the bar, carry proper safety equipment, and WEAR YOUR LIFE JACKET.