An 18-year old California man is missing and presumed drowned in the ocean at Ocean Shores after an outing with a youth group Saturday night.
At about 8 p.m. Saturday, eight young people from a youth group visiting from California were playing in the surf near the beach approach at W. Chance ala Mer.
The survivors described getting caught in a rip current and being pulled out through the surf and into deep water, said a news release from Ocean Shores Police Sgt. David McManus. Five of the subjects were able to get to shore with little trouble, while two others barely made it back to shore and were treated by paramedics on scene for exhaustion and possible ingestion of sea water.
The missing 18-year old man, identified as Renelle Paul Alimoren from Pomona, Calif., reportedly helped two of his friends to shore before being swept out again by the rip current, the news release said.
He was last spotted in the surf at about 8:30 p.m., about half a mile south of where he first entered the water.
The Ocean Shores Police and Fire Departments responded and attempted to locate the missing man from the beach. The United States Coast Guard responded with a boat from Station Grays Harbor and a helicopter from Astoria. They searched the area for several hours, but were unable to locate the missing man.
McManus said Alimoren was credited with saving several lives after the group was wading fully dressed in the surf and described a situation in which they fell into a hole as the waves were coming in.
“They were in no way prepared to be out swimming, and he got caught by the rip after saving a couple of his friends,” McManus said of the ensuing riptide that swept Alimoren away.
As of Sunday afternoon, his body had not been found. McManus said the Coast Guard estimated the current was heading to the south toward the jetty area.
It was not known what the specific group was affiliated with, and police believe they were staying in the Aberdeen area.