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Sneaker Wave Pulls Three Into Ocean: One Child Dies, Another Missing


A 7-year-old girl died and a 4-year-old boy is missing after they were swept into the ocean in the Falcon Cove area near the Clatsop/ Tillamook county line on Saturday.

Oregon State Police says in a statement that emergency services responded to the call that a man was holding two children when the three were overtaken by a wave at 12:38pm Saturday. The man, later identified as 47-year-old Jeremy Stiles of Portland, was able to get out of the water and an officer went into the surf to rescue the girl, who later died after being transported to Providence Seaside Hospital. The US Coast Guard sent helicopters to aid in the search for the 4-year-old boy, but the search had to be suspended at sunset. The search was officially called off late Sunday.

Cannon Beach Fire Department, Cannon Beach Police Department and Manzanita Police Department all assisted on scene. 

There is a Beach Hazards Statement for the Oregon Coast until 4pm Sunday, indicating potentially life threatening conditions in the surf zone. Sneaker waves can suddenly knock people off their feet and quickly pull them in to the frigid ocean.  Water rises may be especially high around high tide at 2 pm for the North Oregon coast and 1 pm for the Central Coast.

Copyright KLCC, 2019

Love Cross joined KLCC in 2017. She began her public radio career as a graduate student, serving as Morning Edition Host for Boise State Public Radio in the late 1990s. She earned her undergraduate degree in Rhetoric and Communication from University of California at Davis, and her Master’s Degree from Boise State University. In addition to her work in public radio, Love teaches college-level courses in Communication and Public Speaking.