NEWPORT, Ore. - Oregon State Police have identified the two people who were washed off the end of South Jetty at Yaquina Bay near Newport last Wednesday afternoon.
The kind of conditions that led to the couple's death are often present this time of year at the North and South Jetties of the Columbia River. Extra caution is warranted near the ocean where heavy surf produces extremely large waves.
The body of a 33-year-old woman was recovered but her 34-year old husband's body has not been found. Search efforts were called off Wednesday evening because of darkness and rough ocean conditions.
According to OSP Lt. Mike Turner, the couple has been identified as Michael Ray Myers, 34, and Kathryn Vancil Myers, 33, from southeast Portland.
According to police the couple traveled to Newport earlier in the week to celebrate their anniversary and had checked out of a local hotel Wednesday morning. The couple rode their bicycles to the beach before walking out onto the jetty.
Two witnesses reported seeing the couple walking toward the end of the jetty. One witness said he last saw the couple holding onto a light pole at the end of the jetty when a large wave swept them into the water.
At about 1 p.m. Oregon State Police, the U.S. Coast Guard, Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, Newport Police Department and local fire and rescue personnel responded to a report that a man and woman were washed off the end of the South Jetty into the ocean near South Beach State Park.
At approximately 1:13 p.m., U.S. Coast Guard personnel spotted a woman's body about 40 yards southwest of the jetty in the ocean and retrieved her from the water. The body of Kathryn Myers was taken by boat to the local Coast Guard station where she was pronounced deceased.
Searchers working from the air, water and ground spent the afternoon searching for the man's body but have not located him. Michael Myers is missing and presumed to have drowned. Search efforts stopped Wednesday evening. The Coast Guard planned to continue searching along the beach last week.