A 23-year-old Idaho man who fell off his surfboard just before midnight Wednesday in the ocean near Cannon Beach is missing and apparently drowned.
The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended its active search for Jesse W. Murphy, Petty Officer Hayes Taylor said this morning.
Murphy and his girlfriend, Chelsea Cardwell, were camping overnight at Ecola State Park on their way from Kennewick, Wash., to Ventura, Calif., when he decided to go night surfing. Cardwell called 9-1-1 at 11:56 p.m. Wednesday to report that she saw him fall from his surfboard 50 yards off Indian Beach. He was not wearing a board leash.
Rescue personnel from the Cannon Beach Fire Department and a helicopter from Air Station Astoria searched the the area throughout the night. A second helicopter was launched early Thursday morning, but there was no sign of the missing surfer.
Petty Officer Taylor said weather does not seem to have been a factor in the incident. Seas were calm when Murphy disappeared. Although there is no sign of foul play, an investigation is continuing, Oregon State Police said Thursday. Murphy had a court date today in Ventura County, Calif., although further details were unavailable, said Sgt. Andrew Merila.
In an unrelated case, at 8:15 p.m. Thursday in Manzanita, a man who had been diving in the ocean off Manzanita called 9-1-1 to report another diver was missing. The two had lost sight of their diving boat and had swum toward shore, he said, but the other man had not arrived. A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter from Air Station Astoria was diverted from a training missing and Manzanita search and rescue personnel were called in. A few minutes later the other man was located on shore.