Recovery search underway for man who fell into ocean in Depoe Bay

DEPOE BAY, Ore. – Search and rescue teams are attempting recover a man who fell from rocks into the Pacific Ocean near Depoe Bay Friday morning.

The man was identified as 26-year-old Kelly Bennett Smith, of Athens, Georgia.

The Depoe Bay Fire Department said it was first called at 10:47 a.m. about Smith falling into the ocean at Rocky Creek.

Smith and a friend climbed beyond the Rock Creek scenic viewpoint onto rocks to take photos when a rogue wave hit Smith from behind and dragged him out to rough seas, according to Sgt. Kyle Hove said.

Smith was seen by his friend and rescuers for seven minutes before he sank below water.

The U.S. Coast Guard sent a chopper to the scene and assisted the Depoe Bay Fire Department with lifeboats for the search and rescue.

The Depoe Bay Fire Department at 12:15 p.m. tweeted that the search and rescue effort had transitioned to a search and recovery effort.

The Coast Guard suspended its search at 4 p.m. Friday. They checked again at first light Saturday and did not find Smith.


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