Search suspended for missing teen who fell into ocean at Cape Ki - KPTV - FOX 12

Search suspended for missing teen who fell into ocean at Cape Kiwanda

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Megan Owens (photo courtesy of the Owens family) Megan Owens (photo courtesy of the Owens family)
Cape Kiwanda Cape Kiwanda

The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended the search for a 17-year-old girl who fell off a cliff into the ocean at Cape Kiwanda.

Helicopter and boat crews spent more than 19 hours searching for the hiker after a friend called 911 at 3:06 p.m. Monday.

The teen was identified Tuesday by police as Megan Owens of Marysville, Washington.

Investigators said Owens fell off the rocks into an area commonly known as the Punch Bowl. 

Search crews traveled 426 miles while covering more than 72 square miles, but did not find her. The search was suspended at 10:36 a.m. Tuesday.

"Despite our best efforts and an exhaustive multi-agency search, we were unable to locate the missing girl," said Mr. Greg Merten, operations unit controller at Coast Guard Sector Columbia River. "Our deepest condolences go out to the loved ones affected by this terrible tragedy."

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Astoria, an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Facility Newport and a 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew from Station Tillamook Bay all responded to the scene to search for the girl.

The search operation was launched within minutes of the initial call.

During the search, two local fire and rescue personnel who were searching the area on personal watercraft fell into the water as sea conditions began to worsen. They were hoisted to safety by the Jayhawk crew.

One was dropped off at the beach and the other was transferred to emergency medical services workers in Lincoln City. 

The conditions at the time Owens fell into the water Monday was reported to be 8-to-10 foot swells with wind speeds of 5 to 10 mph.

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