Coast Guard halts search for man who fell from coast cliff

Canadian reportedly fell off 800-foot cliff

MANZANITA, Ore. - The Coast Guard said it suspended the search Sunday night for a missing Canadian man whose wife reportedly saw him fall off an 800-foot cliff at Oswald West State Park on the Oregon Coast.

Officials said the search was suspended shortly before 9 p.m. after search efforts by an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Sector Columbia River, a 47-foot Motor Life Boat from Station Tillamook Bay and local responders were unsuccessful.

“Suspending a search is one of the hardest decisions we ever have to make,” said Mark Dobney, command duty officer for Sector Columbia River. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this tragic and trying time.”

Coast Guard watchstanders at Sector Columbia River received a report that the 51-year-old British Columbia resident was witnessed by his wife to have fallen off an 800-foot cliff near the Devil’s Cauldron.

Coast Guard air and sea response crews were immediately dispatched to the area and coordinated efforts with ground crews from the Oregon State Police and Manzanita Fire Department.

Search crews were able to locate one of the man’s shoes and his backpack floating in the ocean below where he had reportedly fallen.

The search was conducted until suspended after sunset. The search could continue if more information about the case becomes available, officials said.

Weather at the time of the incident was reported at 7 mph winds and 4-foot seas.

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