California man who attempted to jump across Devil's Churn on Oregon Coast presumed dead

·2 min read

A California man who tried to jump across a wide cove of frothing water Thursday at the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area off the Oregon coast is presumed deceased, according to state police.

Steve Allen, 67, of Walnut Creek, California, apparently tried to hurdle Devil's Churn, a narrow boiling inlet just off Highway 101 south of Yachats more than 50 miles northwest of Eugene.

"Troopers and emergency personnel responded for a subject who had fallen into the ocean at Devils Churn," Oregon State Police said in a news release. "Fellow visitors attempted to rescue Allen but were unable to retrieve him from the water."

Witnesses told local news outlet Yachats News that Allen appeared to have "missed his footing" when trying to cross. People tried to save him by creating a makeshift line and raft. Allen was able to hold onto it but could not get pulled in and had a “pretty big” head injury, witnesses said.

“It was cold … he was struggling,” Evan Nelson said. “And then it became hard for him to hold on. Then he let go. It was too late.”

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Allen was last observed by rescue agencies unresponsive before he vanished from sight, officials said.

The U.S. Coast Guard and other responding agencies suspended their search at about 6:40 p.m. Allen is presumed to be dead, officials said.

Waves crash along the rocks at Devil's Churn below Cape Perpetua near Yachats.
Waves crash along the rocks at Devil's Churn below Cape Perpetua near Yachats.

Devil's Churn, a popular stopping point at Cape Perpetua, is a narrow slice in the coastal basalt rock known for boiling water that kicks up large sprays of waves.

Contributing: Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY

Follow Zach Urness on Twitter: @ZachsORoutdoors.

This article originally appeared on Salem Statesman Journal: California man presumed dead, attempts to jump across Devil's Churn OR

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