A man and his two kids were swept into the ocean Saturday afternoon near Cannon Beach, prompting a search and rescue mission in rough conditions.
Rescuers pulled the man and a girl from the water, a spokesman for the U.S. Coast Guard said, though both were unresponsive. They were taken to a local hospital in Seaside.
The second child, a young boy, could not be located despite nearly five hours of scouring the ocean. The search and rescue attempt was called off at about 5:45 p.m. Saturday.
“We’ve exhausted our resources,” Petty Officer Steve Strohmaier, a regional spokesman for the U.S. Coast Guard, said Saturday. “We’re obviously hoping for the best, but at this point it’s very challenging.”
He said the search was primarily conducted by helicopter and crews onshore. Conditions were too rough to send out a rescue boat, as several coastal bars were closed Saturday.
The U.S. Coast Guard has not released the ages or identities of the three victims, but did confirm that the man is the father of the two children.
The incident happened at around 1 p.m. Saturday near Cape Falcon, which is located between Cannon Beach and Manzanita in Oswald West State Park. It’s also close to the small coastal community of Arch Cape. Strohmaier said rescuers didn’t know where exactly the three were swept out the sea.
Officials advised people to avoid beaches and jetties, as waves were expected to remain above 25 feet throughout Saturday.