Coast Guard suspended search for boy swept offshore while swimming near Long Beach
Long Beach, WA – The Coast Guard suspended the search for a 14-year-old boy reportedly swept offshore while swimming near Long Beach.
The teenager was reported to be missing by his friend and the Coast Guard Sector Columbia River command center was notified just after 2:00 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 were 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 Guard saturated an area of approximately 52 square miles, and completed eight searches over about 18 hours, but the search was suspended just before 10:30 p.m on 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, beach goers 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.