Several Coast Guard boat and air crews searched more than 100 square miles for a 20-year-old man whose friends reported they lost sight of him after he went swimming at a beach party near the Siuslaw River entrance.
“We extend our condolences to the man’s family as the decision to suspend a search is never easy,” said Lt. Anna Steel, search and rescue mission coordinator for the case. “We also hope to prevent future tragedies by reminding the public that drinking impairs your judgement, sense of distance and direction. As the weather warms up, we urge beachgoers and boaters alike to stay sober and stay alive.”
Local 911 dispatchers relayed a call from the man’s friend at 8 p.m. to watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector North Bend saying the man was reportedly under the influence of drugs and alcohol when he swam 40 yards from shore and never returned.
Two 47-foot Motor Life Boat crews from Coast Guard Station Siuslaw River, an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station North Bend, a Dolphin aircrew from Coast Guard Air Facility Newport and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Astoria conducted the search until around 9 a.m. Saturday.
The man reportedly removed his clothing before he went into the water.
The water temperature at the time of the call was reported to be 54 degrees.