1 swimmer rescued, 1 missing off the coast near Cannon Beach

4 involved are Beaverton School District students
One teenager is missing after a group of Beaverton School District students went swimming in the ocean near Cannon Beach on Friday.
Published: May. 13, 2023 at 9:52 AM PDT
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CLATSOP COUNTY, Ore. (KPTV) - One teenager is missing after a group of Beaverton School District students went swimming in the ocean near Cannon Beach on Friday.

The Cannon Beach Fire District said just before 4 p.m. Friday, it responded with the Seaside Fire Department’s Surf Rescue Team south of the Tolovana Beach wayside area. It was reported a group of people who were swimming could no longer be seen. Firefighters learned four people were in the water and two had made it out. A Cannon Beach Fire Department swimmer rescued one person, who was taken to a hospital.

Rescue crews searched for the remaining swimmer for another hour but could not find the person. The U.S. Coast Guard continued searching with a helicopter and two boats until dark. It said their crews would not be returning and local authorities would work on recovery.

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A spokesperson for the Beaverton School District said the four are all students in the district. The Coast Guard said they are all 18-year-old men.

The fire district wants to remind everyone the ocean is unpredictable and rip currents can sweep swimmers out quickly. Although it is getting warmer, the ocean temperature is still cold and can rapidly decrease a swimmer’s ability.

Shaunna White with the Cannon Beach Surf Rescue Team says swimmers can underestimate how dangerous cold water can be.

“Everybody comes out, enjoying the weekend, and they want to go into the cool water,” White says. “A lot of people assume it’s just like bath water and it’s not. It doesn’t matter if you’re the best swimmer in the world. The water can get cold and you get hypothermic, and you get tired very quickly and people panic a lot.”

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White says there are permanent rip currents north of Haystack Rock and just south of the needles.

“Where it looks like it’s calm is typically going to be the most dangerous,” White says. “If you look for the big waves and where it’s choppy, that’s typically going to be the safest route for people to hang out and swim.”

She warns swimmers to be cautious in the water, and to not go any deeper than to the knees until the water warms up.

If you see a distressed swimmer, call 911 immediately.

This is developing news. FOX 12 will update this story when more information is available.