A seven-year-old girl is dead and her four-year-old brother is still missing after a wave swept the children and their father into the ocean off the coast of Oregon, according to state police.
Jeremy Stiles, 47, was on the shore holding his daughter and son in the Falcon Cove, Oregon, area at around 12:38 pm on Saturday when they were all swept out to sea, Oregon State Police said in a release.
A responding police officer found Stiles closer to shore, struggling to get out of the ocean, and the girl much further out in the ocean. The Manzanita Police Department officer went into the ocean and pulled the girl to shore. She and her father were then taken to the Providence Seaside Hospital in an ambulance, where she later died.
The U.S. Coast Guard sent out helicopters to help find the four-year-old boy, but had to suspend the search after sunset. He is still missing.
Joanne Cornelius told KPTV she saw the family get swept into the ocean and called the police.
“We’ve been–it’s the first thing we think about in the morning, it was the last thing we thought about last night. Because you can’t get that out of your mind,” she said, adding that she told the coast guard where to search.
“It’s horrible,” she said. “How strong, how high the water was.”
“Even on a calm day, here in the Pacific Ocean, the ocean can be dangerous,” Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Levi Read told the Fox affiliate.“King Tide, like we had this weekend, it makes conditions even worse. You have to respect the elements and know that there’s no telling what can happen.”
The Cannon Beach Fire Department, Cannon Beach Police Department, and the Manzanita Police Department all assisted at the scene.
The U.S. National Weather Service Portland Oregon issued a warning about an hour before the family was swept out to sea, writing in a Facebook post:“Waves were hitting their peak this morning off the coast. While great to look at, remember to stay a safe distance away as a High Surf Warning is still in play.”