ASTORIA, Ore. — The Coast Guard suspended the search Monday evening for a 14-year-old boy reportedly swept offshore while swimming near Long Beach, Washington.
The teenager was reported to be missing by his friend who confirmed he was wearing a red swimmers cap, gray T-shirt and black swim shorts.
Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Columbia River command center were notified at 2:06 p.m. An urgent marine information broadcast was issued as an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Sector Columbia River and a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew from Station Cape Disappointment were directed to respond and on scene at 2:30 p.m.
Multiple partner agencies and a rotation of Coast Guard crews participated in the coordinated search operations.
The Coast Guardsaturated an area of approximately 52 square miles, completing eight searches over more than 17.9 hours. The search was suspended at 10:26 p.m Monday..
Units involved in the search:
- Coast Guard Sector Columbia River watchstanders
- Coast Guard Air Station Astoria MH-60 Jayhawk crews
- Coast Guard Station Cape Disappointment 47-foot MLB crews
“Suspending search efforts is always an extremely difficult and heart-wrenching decision, especially when involving children,” said Capt. Nathan Coulter, 13th Coast Guard District, chief of incident management. “This was a real tragedy, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the young man involved. A huge thanks to the many women and men who assisted in planning and carrying out this search effort, including among others, the Coast Guard, Pacific County, Washington Park Rangers, and good Samaritans. As is often the case, these public servants answered the call instinctively and without delay to come to the aid of others.”
Coulter also adds that while the Pacific Northwest beaches may be a popular destination for recreation, beachgoers ought to keep in mind the number of unpredictable and ever-changing dangers such as strong waves, rip currents and cold water temperatures. Always be aware of your surroundings.