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Mystery on N. Oregon Coast After Calls for Help Heard at Oceanside, Possible Missing People

Published 5/27/24 at 9:15 p.m.
By Andre' Hagestedt, Oregon Coast Beach Connection

(Oceanside, Oregon) – Since the early hours of Monday, the Netarts-Oceanside Fire District has had a bit of a mystery on its hands. Around 4 a.m., volunteers had a small group of people come into the fire station and report hearing calls for help around Maxwell Point – the promontory that juts out from Oceanside. (Photos courtesy Netarts-Oceanside Fire District: responders put yellow tape and notes for the bike owners to call them)

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Shortly after, fire district volunteers discovered two bikes leaning up against the fence by the beach access, and they've been left unattended since at least Monday afternoon. After a good deal of searching, responders on the north Oregon coast were unable to find anyone or signs of an incident.

They are currently asking the public if anyone that had been in the Oceanside area that day and saw anything to report it to Tillamook County Sheriff's Office at 503-815-1911.

Netarts-Oceanside fire chief Jeff McBrayer told Oregon Coast Beach Connection Monday evening it's all “very weird.”

“Someone heard calls for help coming from the rocks,” McBrayer said. “We don't know exactly where: they just said between Oceanside's beach and Tunnel Beach. From the rocks, is all we know. We don't have an exact pinpoint.”


Photos courtesy Netarts-Oceanside Fire District

The pair of bikes were apparently still there later in the afternoon, McBrayer said. He had not been been able to check back in the evening because of so many calls: fire volunteers had been extremely busy this holiday.

“We wrapped yellow tape around them, left a note to the owners to call in if these were their bikes,” McBrayer told Oregon Coast Beach Connection. “We don't know if they were on the rocks or in the water. They just said 'the point.' ”

Fire volunteers conducted their own search, arriving on scene with their rescue truck and soon other authorities arrived.

“We conducted a search of Tunnel Beach, Oceanside Beach and the tunnel,” McBrayer said.

The US Coast Guard deployed a search vessel from Garibaldi and a helicopter from Astoria.

“They searched for about two hours,” McBrayer said.

The US Coast Guard also searched Lost Boy Beach, a hidden section of Oceanside between Tunnel Beach and Short Beach which has had a history of presenting its own dangers.


Photo Oregon Coast Beach Connection showing the point as it usually is: under water.

He noted currents were moving away from this general area.

Tunnel Beach is a place known for its dangers. It's a thin slice of a beach that is right up against a soaring cliff with only about 50 feet of beach at the most. The tip of Maxwell Point sometimes gets wayward explorers and people often figure out rather quickly this is a dangerous spot when they get splashed by waves.

In the past, there have been incidences of the tunnel getting covered by a landslide and visitors on the other side needing rescue. One such incident in the '90s included a man who managed to climb his way up the cliff and get help.

In late 2020, one group of people were caught behind a landslide and required rescue. Famed Tunnel on Oregon Coast Covered by Rockslide; Some Needed Rescue. MORE PHOTOW BELOW:

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courtesy Netarts-Oceanside Fire District

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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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