The search was suspended at 5 p.m. after two 47-foot Motor Life Boat crews from Coast Guard Station Yaquina Bay and three MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews from Coast Guard Sector North Bend searched in conjunction with personnel from the Newport Police Department, Newport Fire Department, and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department for almost nine hours.
“As we come to the difficult decision to suspend this search, we would like to extend our deepest condolences to those affected by this tragedy,” said Lt. Wesley Jones, a helicopter pilot at Coast Guard Sector North Bend. “We also want to thank all of our partner agencies who assisted with search efforts for their dedication and service to the public.”
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector North Bend received a call at 8:24 a.m. from Newport Police Department personnel that they received two reports of individuals seeing someone fall off the Yaquina Bay Bridge. Coast Guard air and boat crews launched in response as local police and fire units assisted in a search of the waterline.
The person was reportedly a male wearing a black beanie, checkered shirt and dark pants. Coast Guard crews recovered a black beanie and black shoes matching the description and transferred them to Newport Police Department personnel.
While the suspension of a search is based on a survivability model that takes into account aspects such as weather conditions and assets involved, we don’t assume the status or condition of any missing person and can resume an active search at any time if credible information is received regarding a person’s whereabouts.