LONG?BEACH The heat this weekend drew many to the Washington and Oregon coasts, and it turned deadly and dangerous for some.
The U.S. Coast Guards Sector Columbia River reported 20 cases this weekend, nine of them involving people in the water and one a fatality.
A call came in at about 7:54 p.m. Sunday about a man swimming in the surf near Bolstad beach approach in Long Beach. According to Doug Knutzen, of South Pacific County Technical Rescue (SPCTR), the person in distress was initially reported to be 10 years old, but it was later determined that he was an adult. It was estimated that the individual was missing for about 15 minutes before a call was made to 911.
Long Beach Fire Chief David Glasson, who acted as incident command at the scene, said the description rescuers were given was a black male wearing a white bathing cap and a black Speedo.
The current dragged him out to sea, and the SPCTR with two watercrafts and four swimmers proceeded to do search patterns until dark. Long Beach Police, Long Beach Volunteer Fire Department, the Pacific County Sheriffs Office assisted in the search but were unable to locate the man.
Glasson cleared the scene at 9:24 p.m. and turned the scene over to law enforcement. The Coast Guard with a boat and a helicopter searched long after dark.
He was found dead early Monday morning, after his body washed up on the beach near where witnesses last saw him.
He has been identified as Morgan Kiarie, 22, of Tacoma.
They came down with a group of friends, and they were swimming in the ocean right around the Bolstad beach approach, Brandi Huber, the chief deputy coroner in Pacific County, said about the group Kiarie was with.
They were tired and decided to get out. They turned around, and he wasnt there.
It was a tragic end to a weekend that didnt start well for Kiarie. A day earlier at 4:45 p.m. Saturday, he was booked in Grays Harbor County for driving under the influence and resisting arrest by Washington State Patrol-Hoquiam. He was freed at 7:20 p.m. Saturday after posting $1,500 bail.
In the midst of the search in Long Beach, authorities were also called out Sunday for a man stuck on the rocks at Beards Hollow during the incoming tide. Knutzen said his team split up to respond to Beards Hollow, where swimmer Eduardo Mendez located the man, brought him onto his personal watercraft and transported him back to the beach without injury.
The areas last beach drowning occurred almost a year ago when a 55-year-old tourist from Woodinville died after his inflatable raft capsized off Benson Beach in Cape Disappointment State Park.
Rescue personnel continue to urge beach-goers to stay out of waters more than knee deep, with crab holes and rip currents making for dangerous conditions unless someone is a strong swimmer.
We were told he wasnt a strong swimmer, but Im not sure if that would have even made a difference in this case, Glasson lamented Monday.
Stay out of the water, warned Knutzen. If there is a problem, make an immediate call dont wait. If somebody goes under, you cant find them, so just stay out of the water.
Glasson agreed, Its not a beach for swimming. Its a beach for wading, not past your knees.
In Oregon, Petty Officer 1st Class Jeremy Young said in front of the Peter Iredale on Saturday three preteen and younger children were dragged out into the surf. But an as yet unidentified good Samaritan swam out through the surf and rescued all three of them.
We were on scene in five minutes, and he had all of them rescued by then, said Young. He added that the Coast Guard launched on all the cases of people in the water, but it didnt have to rescue anyone. In several of the cases, good Samaritans and local agencies helped out.
Young said that two surfers near Indian Beach spotted an older man struggling to swim in the surf and ducking below water. The surfers put the man on one of their boards and paddled him to a rocky outcropping north of the beach, as the tide was coming out and they were unable to paddle through the breakers to shore.
One of the surfers later reached shore and called 911. Lifeguards from Cannon Beach retrieved the man and brought him to shore.
The other 11 cases included a smattering of vessels disabled, adrift and taking on water and a jet skier who had to paddle his craft in.