LINCOLN CITY, Ore. -- An off-duty firefighter from Dundee died while kite surfing on the Oregon coast Thursday, officials said.

A friend found Dale Johnson, 49, unresponsive in the water near Roads End State Park at about 5 p.m. Thursday, according to Lt. Gregg Hastings of the Oregon State Police.

The friend and responding rescue crews attempted to save Johnson on the beach. He was then taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Police said he was wearing a wetsuit and a life jacket.

Johnson was a volunteer firefighter in Jackson County before becoming a Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue firefighter for 19 years. He was recently assigned as a lieutenant at Fire Station 35 in King City.

Dale Johnson was a good firefighter, a good lieutenant and a good man, said TVF&R Chief Mike Duyck. The men and women at TVF&R will miss him, and our hearts go out to his family.

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