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Mar-08-2008 18:50printcomments

16-Year-Old Missing, 11-Year Old Critical After Incident in Heavy Surf on Oregon Coast

The tragic, unfolding story is a reminder of how treacherous waves on the Oregon coast can be.

Firefighter on Oregon coast
File photo by Tim King

(GLENEDEN BEACH, Ore.) - Police on the Oregon Coast say a 16-year old boy is unaccounted for and an 11-year old boy is in critical condition after being overwhelmed by the surf this afternoon at Gleneden Beach, north of Depoe Bay.

Around 1:15 PM, the group accompanying the 11-year old noticed he was having trouble in the surf. Lt. Gregg Hastings with Oregon State Police says an adult male and two 15-year old boys went into the heavy surf to rescue him, but all three reportedly had trouble also and had to return to shore.

According to Hastings, rescue personnel from the North Lincoln Fire District, Coast Guard, Lincoln County Sheriff's Office joined Oregon State Police in the response.

Dennis Knudson, a Depoe Bay firefighter, spotted the 11-year old in the surf at about 2:00 PM. He retrieved the lad and brought him to shore. That's when medical crews began lifesaving efforts.

The boy was loaded aboard a Coast Guard helicopter and flown to Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital in Lincoln City where he is reported to be in critical condition.

Hastings says that about an hour after that incident began, another group at the beach said a 16-year old boy from their party was missing, and they suspected that he went in to help the 11-year old at 1:15 PM.

Emergency responders on scene searched until approximately 4:15 PM in an effort to locate the boy and were unable to locate him. At this hour search operations are suspended.

The names of the victims, minors, have not yet been released. Hastings says there is no additional information to report at this time.

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