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Busy, Even Tragic Weekend for N. Oregon Coast Sheriffs and Rescuers; 1 Death

Published 11/13/23 a 8:05 p.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Busy, Even Tragic Weekend for N. Oregon Coast Sheriffs and Rescuers; 1 Death

(Garibaldi, Oregon) – This past weekend was a busy one for Tillamook County Sheriff's Office (TCSO), with a mix of happy endings and tragedies. One person is dead, but at least four others were rescued in a rather wide section of north Oregon coast. (Photo courtesy TCSO)

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According to the TCSO, Marine Deputy Dennis Greiner in particular was involved in all four rescue efforts.

Friday afternoon, TSCO received word of a stranded recreational boat in Tillamook Bay. Greiner launched a patrol boat from Garibaldi Marina to recover the boat, which had become disabled the previous day and lodged itself along the rocks just across from the Three Graces rocks on the bay.

No injuries were reported.

“Deputy Greiner decided to remove the boat before it became a navigational hazard for other boaters,” the TCSO said. “With the assistance of Garibaldi Fire Department’s Deputy Chief Blake Paulsen and Firefighter Brad Marugg, the boat was floated and towed back to the Marina for removal.”

Photo courtesy TCSO

Later on Friday evening, Greiner joined in with the US Coast Guard and Netarts-Oceanside Fire Rescue into Netarts Bay, where responders rescued four adult clammers who had become stuck on a sand bar by the incoming tide.

The Coast Guard used a skiff with Coast Guard rescuers Austin Brink and Aiden Hayes along with Greiner, while Netarts-Oceanside Fire launched their own watercraft. A USCG helicopter joined in as well.

Rescuers found them literally in the nick of time.

“When the four people were located, the water was up to their necks,” TCSO said. “They were loaded onto the skiff and brought to two awaiting Tillamook Ambulances and transported to Tillamook Hospital for treatment of hypothermia.”

Photo courtesy TCSO, showing Deputy Greiner in the vehicle

The north Oregon coast continued to keep first responders busy.

Deputy Greiner saw even more action on Saturday, responding to a call for yet another disabled boat, this time jammed into the pilings of Tillamook Bay, not far from the Port Office.

“Deputy Greiner was covering a patrol shift at the time, but was still able to respond to the area,” TCSO said. “Once he arrived, he arranged for a good samaritan in a passing boat to tow the disabled boat to the ramp. No injuries were reported.”

Photo courtesy TCSO

Sunday saw the darker moment in south Tillamook County, as officials received a report of a suicidal man at the Cape Lookout trailhead.

This time, a small army responded, including Oregon State Police (OSP), Netarts-Fire Rescue, a USCG helicopter, and other sheriff's deputies including the agency's Search and Rescue (SAR) unit. With the primary search area within the park boundaries of Cape Lookout, OSP was the lead investigator.

The search did not take long, with the helicopter crew finding a deceased male at the base of the south face of Cape Lookout, apparently having committed suicide.

TCSO has not released the name of the man.

US Forest Service personnel along with Greiner, OSP, SAR and fire rescue crews assisted in recovering the body, which TCSO said was extremely difficult because of stormy weather conditions and the rough terrain of the area below Cape Lookout.

Tillamook 911 dispatchers were also integral to the recovery and all this weekend's incidents, TCSO said.

“We are grateful for all of our partner public safety agencies that respond with TCSO to calls like this every day,” TCSO said on social. “Also, our thoughts are with the family and friends of the deceased found at Cape Lookout. If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat”

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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