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Colorado father dies after attempting to save son in ocean off Oregon; son still missing

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Posted at 7:10 AM, Jun 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-07 11:10:15-04

ROCKAWAY BEACH, Ore. — A Colorado father died after he dove into the Pacific Ocean in an attempt to save his teenage son, who is still missing after falling off a boogie board.

On Wednesday at 2:21 p.m., Oregon State Police troopers and other emergency personnel responded to a report of a water rescue on a beach adjacent to Rockaway Beach, west of Portland.

A 17-year-old from Fort Collins was riding a boogie board in the surf when a wave knocked him off his board, according to a preliminary investigation. He appeared in distress to family members on the shore. His 50-year-old father, also of Fort Collins, left family on the shore and entered the water in an attempt to rescue his son, police said.  

After a few minutes, the family on the beach lost sight of both.

The U.S. Coast Guard and local emergency responders started a search and rescue effort, and after flying over an area, a Coast Guard helicopter found the deceased 50-year-old, police said.

The search for the 17-year-old is ongoing, though he is presumed dead, police said. KATU reported that search efforts for the teen continued until it became dark Wednesday.

The family was vacationing on the Oregon coast. Witnesses said the waves were higher than usual Wednesday and the weather service sent out an alert warning beachgoers that the waves could reach 15 feet high, according to KATU.

The search for the teen will continue on Thursday.