Portland Family Was Walking on ‘Off-Beach Trail’ when Sneaker Wave Pulled Them Out to Sea

A Portland father and his two young children were walking on an off-beach trail near Cannon Beach when a sneaker wave pulled them out to sea, a statement from the family said this week.

Jeremy Stiles, 47, and Lola Stiles, 7, were recovered from the ocean by rescue personnel but were not responsive. They were transported to Providence Seaside Hospital, where Lola was pronounced dead.

Jeremy Stiles remains at Seaside Hospital, where he is recovering from hypothermia. William Stiles, age 4, is still missing.

The tragic story this weekend was met mostly by sympathy and condolences. However, some on social media criticized what they assumed to be the parents’ disregard of National Weather Service advisories warning of dangerously high tides and waves.

As the family’s statement explained, the Stiles were not on the beach, but an off-beach trail. This was also confirmed by first responders.

“The Stiles/Romaine families want to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers, and especially the support of the first responders and Coast Guard during this horrific tragedy for our family,” the statement read in part. “Our hearts, as you can imagine, could not be more broken, as both children were loved beyond measure by our entire family and so many others.”

A vigil for the family has been scheduled for 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Hoffman Center for the Arts, 594 Laneda Ave. in Manzanita, about a 10-minute drive from Falcon Cove where the incident took place. A GoFundMe campaign has also been set up to assist the family with the funeral and other expenses related to their traumatic loss.

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