Coast Guard suspends search for man swept out to sea by tsunami wave

USCG File Photo

MCKINLEYVILLE, Calif. – The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended its search for a man missing at sea near the Klamath River on Friday.

A man was swept out to sea by a wave after he and two friends reportedly traveled to the shoreline to take photos of the incoming tsunami waves generated by Friday’s earthquake off of the coast of Japan.

Two of the men were able to get back to shore and call 911 to report that one of them had gone missing. The Coast Guard received its initial call from the Del Norte County Sheriff’s at 10:04 a.m. and was on scene and searching in less than 10 minutes, as a MH-65C Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Humboldt Bay was already airborne.

Over the course of the next seven hours, the Coast Guard searched more than 250 square miles of ocean and shoreline using multiple helicopters and a 47’ Motor Lifeboat from Station Humboldt Bay.

The waters off of the Northern California Coast are extremely treacherous. When tsunami activity is forecast for the area, the waters become exponentially more dangerous. The messages issued by the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center cannot be taken lightly. During periods of tsunami warnings staying clear of low lying coastal areas and other tsunami evacuation areas is of the utmost importance.

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