Chinese Couple Pulled out to Sea by "Rogue Wave"

Rocky Creek State Park viewpoint (file image courtesy Oregon State Parks)

By The Maritime Executive 2018-09-10 16:28:32

On Sunday afternoon, a helicopter aircrew from U.S. Coast Guard Air Station North Bend recovered a husband and wife from the water near Depoe Bay, Oregon. The victims may have been struck and pulled out to sea by a rogue wave. 

At 1730 hours on Sunday, Sector North Bend received a call from the local 911 center reporting that two people had been swept out to sea by what dispatchers described as a "rogue wave." The local Coast Guard station sent a motor lifeboat to the scene, and Air Station North Bend launched a rescue helicopter. 

The helicopter aircrew arrived at the site just before 1800 hours. They spotted the couple and hoisted them from the water, but found them to be unresponsive. The helicopter flew them to shore at Newport, where they were delivered to Samaritan Pacific Hospital. Despite medical care, neither survived. 

The husband and wife, identified as Miaochan Chen and Wenjun Zhu, were Chinese nationals, and had recently moved to a suburb of Portland, Oregon. They were reportedly on an outing with their 10-year-old daughter, and were down on the rocks at Rocky Creek State Park when a wave caught them. Their daughter was unharmed, and she has been temporarily placed in a foster home while local authorities look for a permanent arrangement. 

The Oregon State Police department and the Chinese consulate have notified the family's next of kin.