PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The family whose children were taken by a sneaker wave at Cannon Beach on Saturday thanked everyone for their thoughts and prayers “during this horrific tragedy.”
Jeremy Stiles, 47, is recovering from hypothermia at Seaside Hospital. Their daughter Lola, 7, died at a hospital, while the body of 4-year-old William has not been recovered.
The family was walking along a beach trail when a sneaker wave came up and pulled them into the Pacific Ocean.
At the time of the incident, family members said the children’s mother and grandmother were out shopping for dinner.
The Stiles family lives in the Montavilla neighborhood and recently opened a coffee shop on NE Glisan, Mother Lovin’ Coffee.
Robb Radford, who’s known the family for about 7 years, said the kids went to school very close to their house. “That whole family, they love their kids. They love each other and they’re really tight,” he said.
“I can’t imagine what they’re going through. My heart and my prayers go out to them.”
The US Coast Guard said they discontinued the search for William.
The family’s statement:
“The Stiles family 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. First responders have reported that they were on an off beach trail and when the waves came up and pulled them in.
“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.”
Family members set up a GoFundMe account to help them through this time.
Stiles was holding his two kids when they were hit by the wave and pulled under.
A Manzanita police officer found Jeremy Stiles struggling in the water with the girl further out behind him. The Oregon State Police said the officer was able to rescue the 7-year-old from the current, and Stiles was able to get to shore as well. The 4-year-old boy was not found.
Father and daughter were both immediately taken to Providence Seaside Hospital. However, OSP said Lola was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Lola was a student at Vestal Elementary in Northeast Portland.
In a note, Vestal Principal Sabrina Flamoe said there will be members of the district crisis recovery team on site to help set up a safe space for students. “This space will be staffed by members of Portland’s Trauma Intervention Program and our own Vestal counselor, where students can talk, write cards, and get support.”