Man presumed dead after trying to jump across cove in Oregon

A California man who attempted to jump across a wide cove of frothing water at Cape Perpetua Scenic Area is presumed deceased, according to state police. Steve Allen, 67, of Walnut Creek, California, apparently tried to hurdle Devil’s Churn, a narrow boiling inlet just off Highway 101 south of Yachats on the central Oregon coast, CBS affiliate KOIN-TV reported.

Devil’s Churn, a popular stopping point at Cape Perpetua, is a somewhat narrow slice in the coastal basalt rock known for boiling water that kicks up large sprays of waves.

Waves crashing into the rocks at Devils Churn along the Oregon Coast, USA
Undated photo of waves crashing into the rocks at Devils Churn along the Oregon Coast,. Edwin Remsburg/VW Pics via Getty Images

“Troopers and emergency personnel responded for a subject who had fallen into the ocean at Devils Churn,” Oregon State Police said in a news release. “Fellow visitors attempted to rescue Allen but were unable to retrieve him from the water.”

Witness Andy Nelson told YachatsNews that Allen “just missed his footing and fell back into the water.”

Nelson told the outlet that he and other others made a makeshift line of a dog leash, belts and shirts, but he couldn’t hold on.

“It was cold … he was struggling,” Nelson told YachatsNews. “And then it became hard for him to hold on. Then he let go. It was too late.”

Allen was last observed by rescue agencies unresponsive prior to losing sight of him, officials said. The U. S. Coast Guard and other responding agencies suspended their search at approximately 6:40 p.m. Allen is presumed to be dead, officials said.

OSP was assisted by Lincoln county Sheriff’s Office, Newport Fire Department, Yachats Fire and Rescue and the Coast Guard.