LONG BEACH, Wash. - The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search for an 11-year-old girl Thursday evening after she and her brother, a 10-year-old, were swept away by a riptide, according to the Coast Guard and local authorities. The girl is presumed drowned.
The incident happened at about 2:15 p.m. at Bolstad beach, according to the Coast Guard.
A county rescue crew pulled the boy from the ocean after he was in the water for over 30 minutes.
"His sister had encouraged him to swim to shore, was the last thing he remembers before he was separated from his sister," said U. S. Coast Guard Lt. Scott McCrew, commanding officer of Cape Disappointment in Ilwaco, Wash.
Loretta Ostgaard at the Long Beach Police Department said the search from the shore was called off at 4 p.m. She also said the family is from Chimacum, Washington.
The childrens' mother, Brandy, told KATU News reporter Hillary Lake, before the sea and air search was called off, that her son was taken to a local hospital. He was released, and is going to be all right. He was back at the family's campsite near the beach hours after the incident. She said the family still had hope the Coast Guard would find her daughter alive.
According to Coast Guard spokesman Petty Officer 3rd Class Jordan Haiyama, a HH60 Jayhawk helicopter and a 47 foot Coast Guard boat looked for the girl. He said crews would search until last light and until all resources are "exhausted."
Bolstad Beach is a destination spot holiday weekends in the summer. Many watched the search from the beach while they continued about their family activities.
Bill Thompson is a local guy. He watched too, calling the waters "deceiving."
"If you go too far it's a sheer drop and there's no way to get out of that especially when the winds blowing like it is, the water just rolls you," said Thompson.
The Coast Guard wants to remind people spending any time this summer on the beaches near Long Beach that swimming is not a good idea.
Clarification: The U.S. Coast Guard clarified that the boy is 10 years old, not 11, and the girl is 11, not 9.