Coast Guard rescues unconscious surfer at Devil’s Punchbowl State Park

(Photo courtesy: Diane Peterson)

NEWPORT, OR (KPTV) - A doctor from Corvallis died while surfing near Devils Punchbowl north of Newport, according to Oregon State Police.

At about 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Oregon State Police and first responders received a 911 call reporting that a surfer was in distress.

Crews say someone called saying the surfer had become separated from his surfboard and was trying to swim to shore but was continually battered by the heavy waves.

A U.S. Coast Guard aircrew and two boat crews were launched from Depoe Bay.

The aircrew located the surfer, deployed a rescue swimmer and with help from another surfer, brought the unconscious surfer to shore.

The surfer was transported via helicopter to Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

He was identified as 30-year-old Toren Stearns from Corvallis.

OSP said Stearns had left his dog on the beach while he was surfing. The Lincoln County Animal Shelter cared for the dog while Stearns’ family was notified.

Copyright 2018 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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