OSP identifies the deceased swimmer: Kathy Gent, 54, Vancouver, WA
Kathy Gent, 54, of Vancouver, WA Friday morning drowned in an accident off a Lincoln City-area beach state wayside. Oregon State Police (OSP) and Lincoln County Medical Examiner are conducting the death investigation. With the upcoming hot weather and expected influx of visitors and others recreating at Oregon’s beaches, safety information and tips are provided at the end of this release.
On June 28, 2013 at approximately 10:20 a.m., Gent and her 23-year old daughter went swimming off the beach at D River Wayside State Recreation Area. About 15 minutes into their swim, both women were pulled out by a rip current and began to yell for help toward people on the beach. The daughter was able to swim away from the rip current and back to shore. Gent disappeared for several minutes before being spotted face down in the water off shore.
Emergency responders from North Lincoln Fire & Rescue, Pacific West Ambulance, US Coast Guard, and OSP went to the scene. Gent was retrieved from the water and transported by ambulance to Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital where she later was pronounced deceased.
Gent was visiting the area with her husband and daughter.
According to Oregon Parks & Recreation Department website, “rip currents are strong currents of water that rush out to sea. They are stronger than even the best swimmer. These currents can swiftly sweep unwary beachcombers and waders off their feet and out to sea. Rip currents may appear as dark, choppy water. Any time you see debris and foam floating out to sea, chances are you have found a rip current. Avoid the area.”
Water safety experts advise if one is caught in a rip current, don’t panic. Swim parallel to the beach until you are out of the current, then head for the beach.
Additional beach safety tips are available on the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department website at: