Beaverton student presumed drowned near Cannon Beach

CANNON BEACH, Ore. (KGW) — A missing Beaverton student who is presumed to have drowned off Cannon Beach was identified by the Beaverton School District in a statement on Sunday.

As of Monday evening, Cannon Beach Fire District and Seaside Fire’s Surf Rescue Team had yet to recover the missing student’s body. The student was identified as Jacob Stokes of Beaverton, according to a statement from the school district.

“On Friday, senior Jacob Stokes was involved in a tragic swimming accident in the ocean along Cannon Beach,” the district said. “At this time, his body has not yet been found. Our hearts break for Jacob’s family, his close friends, and our entire community at this time of deep sadness and grief.”

Stokes was a senior at Mountainside High School and was set to attend Oregon State University in the fall.

“Jacob was a friend to many. He was kind and thoughtful,” school officials said. “Friends and teachers describe him as focused yet easygoing and just a super nice person. Jacob was part of the Mountainside cross country and track team, participating in the 100-meter and javelin events. In his last race in the 100, he recorded a personal best.”

Jacob went missing after running into trouble swimming near Cannon Beach on Friday, Cannon Beach Fire District and Seaside Fire’s Surf Rescue Team reported, after getting swept out from strong rip currents that were in the area.

At around 4 p.m. Cannon Beach Fire District and Seaside Fire’s Surf Rescue Team responded to a report of a group of four swimmers no longer visible from shore just south of Tolovana Beach. It was confirmed that all four are students with the Beaverton School District, according to Shellie Bailey-Shah, a district spokesperson.

Police arrived shortly and found that two of the swimmers made it out on their own and two were still in the water. A rescue swimmer went in to find the other two and brought one student to shore. That student was transported to a nearby hospital.

Officials did not released the condition of the rescued student.

Rescue teams were unsuccessful locating the fourth student, Stokes. The Coast Guard continued the search until late Friday night. Cannon Beach Fire continue the search on Saturday.

The school district said it planned on having counselors available to students Monday as students learned the news:

“We understand that news like this can bring up emotions for people who have suffered loss in the past. Students may find it difficult to concentrate on schoolwork or they may find focusing on school is a needed distraction. Either is okay.”

Lt. Shawnna White with Cannon Beach Fire said the conditions on the ocean can change quickly. She said the water is still really cold, and even the best swimmers can get into trouble with a rip current.

“The conditions and surf were really choppy while they were out there. Within just about twenty minutes the surf got really big for them,” said White.

Cannon Beach Fire District and Seaside Fire’s Surf Rescue Team remind everyone that the ocean currents are unpredictable and can take a person out. Current water temperatures are still frigid and swimmers need to be careful.

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