Rescue

Rescue: The Coast Guard sent two crews in boats, similar to this one, during the rescue on Dec. 1, at Devils Punch Bowl.

A 31-year-old man has died while surfing along the Oregon Coast at Devils Punchbowl.

According to a reports from Oregon State Police and the U.S. Coast Guard, 911 received a report at about 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1, that a surfer had become separated from his surfboard and was trying to swim to shore but was continually battered by heavy waves.

As a Depoe Bay Fire Department crew arrived on the scene at Devils Punchbowl they reported seeing the surfer floating on his back.

"I saw the surfer away from the board and he did not appear to be responding," Depoe Bay Fire Chief Bill Johnson said. "He was in the water and floating with the current."

A Coast Guard helicopter and two 47-foot motor lifeboat crews from Coast Guard Station Depoe Bay were sent to the scene. The aircrew arrived on scene at 4:14 p.m., located the subject and deployed a rescue swimmer, who had help from another surfer in transporting the individual to shore.

The helicopter crew landed the aircraft on the beach. The unconscious surfer was transported to Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital, where authorities said he was pronounced dead.

The surfer has been identified as 31-year-old Toren Stearns, a Corvallis doctor.

The specific cause of death has not yet been released by authorities.

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