On Friday, April 15, 2016, at 10:54 a.m., Oregon State Police Troopers, along with Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department, Depoe Bay Fire Department, Pacific West Ambulance, and the U.S. Coast Guard responded to a report of a man washed off shore of the point at the Rocky Creek Scenic View Point, just south of Depoe Bay on US 101.
Preliminary information reveals that Kelly Bennett SMITH, age 26, from Athens, GA was visiting the coast for the first time with five other friends after finishing up a job in Corvallis before flying back home. He and another friend climbed out on the rocks beyond the viewpoint to get as close to the water to take some photos, when a rogue wave approached and struck them from behind. SMITH was pulled by the current out into the rough seas.
An emergency call was immediately made and attempts to rescue SMITH were made by friends. He was seen alive in the surf for approximately seven minutes before sinking below the water. He was also seen several times floating by responders. But as of this time, he is no longer in sight and the United States Coast Guard Station Depoe Bay’s search to locate Smith’s body is ongoing.
According to Oregon Parks & Recreation Department website, “They’re called sneaker waves because they appear without warning, often surging high up on the beach with deadly force, and are impossible to predict. Sneaker waves also carry a large amount of sand that can saturate your clothes, weighing you down and making escape difficult if not impossible.”
The website also states, “How to play it safe: Never turn your back on the ocean.”
UPDATE: It has not been confirmed that they are associated, but a male body was recovered on May 3rd at Whale Cove, just north of Rocky Creek Scenic View Point.