Man drowns while swimming along southern Oregon Coast - KPTV - FOX 12

Man drowns while swimming along southern Oregon Coast

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An Ashland man died while swimming in the Pacific Ocean near Whaleshead Beach State Park on the Southern Oregon Coast at around 2 p.m. Saturday, according to Oregon State Police.

Police said Alexander Howell, 23, of Ashland was swimming 75 yards from shore with a friend, Alex Smith, 22, of Medford.

Witnesses said Howell indicated that he needed to go back to shore, but heavy surf and a strong rip current prevented them from making an easy return to shore, and the two became separated.

According to police, Smith managed to get back to shore where two other friends were waiting, but were unable to find Howell.

Police said the group called 911 and searched the beach where he was later found unresponsive.

The friends performed CPR until emergency responders came.

Howell was taken to a local hospital where he was later declared deceased.

According to Oregon State Police, Howell was a student at Southern Oregon University and is originally from Vista, California.

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