A California man who attempted to jump across a wide cove of frothing water on Thursday at the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area off the Oregon coast is presumed deceased, according to state police.
Steve Allen, 67, of Walnut Creek, Calif., apparently tried to hurdle Devil’s Churn, a narrow boiling inlet just off Highway 101 south of Yachats, over 50 miles northwest of Eugene.
“Troopers and emergency personnel responded for a subject who had fallen into the ocean at Devils Churn,” Oregon State Police said in a news release. “Fellow visitors attempted to rescue Allen but were unable to retrieve him from the water.”
Witnesses told local news outlet Yachats News Allen appeared to have “missed his footing” when attempting to cross. People attempted to save him by creating a makeshift line and raft. Allen was able to hold onto it, but could not get pulled in as he had a “pretty big” head injury.
“It was cold … he was struggling,” witness Evan Nelson said about the rescue effort. “And then it became hard for him to hold on. Then he let go. It was too late.”
Allen was last observed by rescue agencies unresponsive prior to losing sight of him, officials said.
The United State Coast Guard and other responding agencies suspended their search at approximately 6:40 p.m. Allen is presumed to be deceased, officials said.
Devil’s Churn, a popular stopping point at Cape Perpetua, is a somewhat narrow slice in the coastal basalt rock known for boiling water that kicks up large sprays of waves.
Contributing: Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY
Follow Zach Urness on Twitter: @ZachsORoutdoors.
California man presumed dead, attempts to jump across Devil’s Churn OR