LONG BEACH -- A Memorial Day family outing on the main access to the beach in Long Beach turned to tragedy when a 14-year-old boy was presumed drowned after possibly getting caught in a rip current/undertow while swimming in the ocean.
The U.S. Coast Guard suspended the search last Monday night (May 31) for the boy, who was reportedly swept offshore while standing in water up to his waist when he went missing, a Washington State Park Ranger told the Herald at the scene.
At approximately 2:00 p.m., the teenager was reported to be missing by his friend, who confirmed he was wearing a red swimmers cap, gray T-shirt and black swim shorts.
Petty Officer Cynthia Oldham of the Astoria Coast Guard Sector Columbia River talked to the Herald by phone Monday morning about the incident. Oldham has been with the Coast Guard for 16 years, including 15 in Astoria and one year in Boston.
"As of this morning (9:45 am), we had no reports of finding him," Oldham informed. "When a search is suspended, they won't back out pending information, such as, if a fisherman saw something and called it in, then we would relaunch.
"We're not exactly sure what happened to him, it would just be a speculation to say a rip current took him under," Oldham said. "He was from Portland (Oregon) here for vacation. He was with a friend in the water and a bunch of family and friends were onshore."
The Coast Guard does not release names of minors. "No, we don't have a name to release," Oldham said. "Typically, the names of minors are not released."