One child is dead and another is missing after they were swept out to sea with their father in Oregon Saturday, police said.
Jeremy Stiles, 47, of Portland, was holding his 7-year-old daughter Lola and 4-year-old son William on the beach in the area of Falcon Cove in Arch Cape Saturday afternoon when a wave took them into the ocean, Oregon State Police said in a release.
Police who arrived on the scene found Stiles struggling to get out of the water, while his daughter was further out in the ocean. An officer from the Manzanita Police Department was able to bring the girl back to shore, according to the release.
The trail they were using was hit by a sneaker wave, according to the family. Sneaker waves are “larger-than-average swells that can suddenly and without warning surge dozens of feet higher up the beach than expected,” according to the National Weather Service.
“Our hearts as you can imagine could not be more broken as both children were loved beyond measure by our entire family and so many others,” the family said in a statement provided by the children’s aunt.
Ambulances took Stiles and his daughter to Providence Seaside Hospital, where the girl was pronounced dead, the release said. Stiles is recovering from hypothermia, according to the family.
The US Coast Guard aided in the search for the boy by helicopter Saturday before the effort was called off at sunset. He has not yet been located, police said.
Arch Cape is about 80 miles northwest of Portland.
The Tillamook County Emergency Management issued a high surf warning for the north and central Oregon coast Saturday, saying wave heights could reach up to 30 feet.