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Jul-06-2008 21:22TweetFollow @OregonNews
14-Year Old Surfer Struck by Dory Fishing Boat Loses Arm at Pacific City BeachTim King Salem-News.com
The victim, Cole Ortega of Bend, had been surfing with his 16-year old sister and her boyfriend. Other members of Ortega's family were on scene.
(PACIFIC CITY, Ore.) - One of the worst things any surfer who goes to Cape Kiwanda in Pacific City can imagine, happened today. Just before 10:00 AM, a 14-year old boy surfing in large waves at PC was run down by a double ended dory fishing boat, police say. The boy survived, but his left arm was amputated in the collision.
Over the years, relations between surfers and dory boat operators in this coastal Oregon town are sometimes tense. It was reported that there may have been more victims.
There are many close calls at this otherwise pleasant beach; but the boats and surfers almost always manage to avoid each other.
Pacific City is home of the west coast dory fleet, and the only place in Oregon where fishermen take their boats out straight through the surf on a regular basis.
Oregon State Police say that at approximately 9:51 AM, OSP Senior Trooper Doug Shugart of the McMinnville Area Command was checking Dory Boat fisherman off the beach at Cape Kiwanda. He reports that the ocean today was fairly rough with swells greater than nine feet, "which provides great surfing, but poor visibility to Dory boats coming to shore, " Shugart stated.
The trooper says he witnessed a Dory boat preparing to come to shore, then heard from citizens that the boat had struck a surfer.
He located the injured surfer, bleeding from a left arm amputation, who was aided to shore by other surfers. The limb was recovered by a surfer. Shugart began providing emergency medical care for the 14-year-old victim, Cole Ortega of Bend, Oregon.
Shugart identified the operator of the dory boat as 55-year old Darrel Martin of Beaver, Oregon.
The Senior Trooper fortunately, was able to locate an emergency room physician who was walking on the beach nearby.
Shugart transported the victim in his patrol vehicle to the main parking lot of Cape Kiwanda while the emergency room doctor provided essential care.
Shortly thereafter, the young surfer was transferred to a Tillamook County Ambulance and was subsequently transported to the Tillamook County General Hospital.
Cole Ortega had been surfing with his 16-year old sister and her boyfriend. Other members of Ortega's family were on scene.
Shugart says that due to high surf, numerous surfers and dorys on the water, deputies from the Tillamook County Sheriff's Office and troopers from OSP requested that all surfers exit the water so the dorys could come to shore safely.
He says an investigation revealed that there could be a possibility of additional surfers struck by vessels coming to shore during this high surf.
The Tillamook County Sheriff's Office Marine Patrol is conducting the investigation into the boating incident.
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