That is my impression as well, it's mainly people who think they can wade. But at the same time people die there every single year. And it can be hard to exit with the steep slope and "sand" that's closer to gravel. Reminds me of climbing a cinder cone. And you don't want to enter or exit in the center. I think if you know everything you're supposed to know it's not particularly dangerous, but if you're new there's a bunch of other sites that don't have the same gotchas.Most of the folks who die at Monastery aren't divers, they are waders who get pulled unaware into the small but powerful surf zone. I feel the "Mortuary Beach" descriptor doesn't necessarily refer to the diving.
Always respect the ocean, but I feel comfortable knowing that I wont drown as long as I keep my reg in my mouth. Tossed around, knocked down maybe, but still breathing air. It'd be a different story if I didnt have a reg in my mouth!