PORTLAND, Oregon (KETK) – An Oregon family is dealing with unimaginable tragedy as one of their children is dead and the other is missing after a massive wave swept them out to sea with their father.
Jeremy Stiles, 47, was walking with his seven-year-old daughter Lola and four-year-old William on an off-beach trail when a sneaker wave came up and pulled them into the ocean.
By the time police arrived, Jeremy was struggling to get out of the water. An officer was able to rescue Lola from the waves but she later died at the hospital. William is still missing, and the Coast Guard searching for him in a helicopter.
The family released a statement saying: “Our hearts as you can imagine could not be more broken as both children were loved beyond measure by our entire family and so many others.”
According to the National Weather Service, a sneaker wave is a “larger-than-average swell that can suddenly and without warning surge dozens of feet higher up the beach than expected.”
The Tillamook County Emergency Management had issued a high surf warning for the north and central Oregon coast Saturday, saying wave heights could reach up to 30 feet.