Coast Guard Helo out of North Bend spent time in the area of Thor’s Well and made a number of passes in hopes of finding any sign of the missing German tourist who disappeared shortly after sundown Thursday evening. Unfortunately their search ended like it ended Thursday night – nothing. The crew returned to base in North Bend.
Report of a man swept into the water at Thor’s Well south of Yachats. Local police and fire departments are on scene along with a Coast Guard Helicopter that is circling around trying to find the victim.
Still no sign of the missing man. A friend managed to scramble to safety. But he’s skinned up pretty good according to those on scene.
Coast Guard has terminated their search after 90 minutes in the air. Without a wet suit for protection no one in such cold waters could survive for more than a half hour tops. So the man is presumed drowned.
This is yet another instance where being too close to where the waves break on the rocks proved deadly. Trying to judge where it’s safe by looking at average wave heights is very risky, especially with the hugely high surf conditions this evening. If the tide is coming in, one set of waves may be far enough away, but if a big set of waves comes in and the tide has risen in the past half hour, it can be like a solid wall of water coming right at you. That’s likely what happened to these two men, one of whom probably died while the other was skinned-up considerably as he barely saved his own life scrambling across the rocks in the dark.
Emergency responders on scene said it sounded like the survivor spoke German.