Oregon Girl Dies, Little Brother Missing After Wave Sweeps Family Into the Ocean

A 7-year-old girl has died and a 4-year-old boy is missing after they were swept out to sea while being held by their father in Oregon on Saturday, officials say.

Jeremy Stiles, 47, of Portland, was on the shore at the Falcon Cove area with his children when they were all pulled into the ocean by a wave, state police said. Police responded to the scene, near the county line of Clatsop County and Tillamook County, shortly before 1 p.m.

After a rescue operation, the 7-year-old girl was brought to hospital, where she was pronounced dead. A search for the boy has since been suspended "indefinitely," The Oregonian reported.

Police said an officer from the Manzanita Police Department who arrived at the area spotted Stiles "struggling to get out of the ocean" and the girl "further out." The officer entered the ocean.

The first responder, who declined interviews, was able to reach the female child and bring her to shore.

The girl and her father, who also made it back to shore, were both taken to the Providence Seaside Hospital (PSH) by ambulance. The young boy could not be located. Coast Guard helicopters were deployed to the scene but the search was suspended at sunset.

The medical condition of the father was not immediately known. He is expected to survive, KATU reported. Coast Guard officials have urged the public to avoid jetties and rocks.

"Mother nature is unforgiving," the local USCG division wrote on Facebook. "Beaches along the Pacific Northwest are rugged and remote. Always know the current ocean conditions.

"If you plan to head to a beach to witness the amazing power of the ocean, be sure to observe from a distance. Waves are unpredictable and erratic. ALWAYS have situational awareness."

State police confirmed the Cannon Beach Fire Department, Cannon Beach Police Department and Manzanita Police Department sent officers to assist at the scene of the incident.

On Saturday, the Tillamook County's Emergency Management issued a "high surf" notice warning about "large waves and dangerous surf conditions" on the Oregon coast.

It said: "Destructive waves may wash over beaches, jetties, and other structures unexpectedly. People can be swept off rocks and jetties and drown while observing high surf.

The note added: "Severe beach erosion may destroy coastal properties and buildings. Higher than normal water run-up is expected on beaches and low- lying shoreline. Sneaker waves can run up on the beach, lifting or rolling logs which can lead to serious injury or death."

After this tragic weekend, the #USCG stresses shoreline safety. The ocean is powerful and unrelenting. ALWAYS have situational awareness. Watch this @NOAA video for more info on wave safety: https://t.co/FWoDaI0IYg#ProtectingThePNW pic.twitter.com/RvpXKTZiAA

— USCGPacificNorthwest (@USCGPacificNW) January 13, 2020

In addition, the local National Weather Service for Portland and Oregon said in its own advisory posted to social media: "Waves were hitting their peak this morning off the coast. While great to look at, remember to stay a safe distance away as a High Surf Warning is still in play."

The names of the child victims have not been released.

Oregon State Police has been contacted for additional comment.

Stock: Crashing Waves on the Oregon Coast
File photo: Crashing waves on the Oregon Coast. A 7-year-old girl has died and a 4-year-old boy is missing after they were swept out to sea while being held by their father on Saturday. iStock