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Hiker’s body found after plummeting from rocky bluff and being swept out to sea


(NEW YORK) — A hiker’s body has been recovered after he fell from a rocky bluff and was knocked unconscious during the fall and swept out to sea.

The incident occurred at approximately 5 p.m. on Saturday when Oregon State Police responded to a call for help at Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area, about 100 miles west of Portland along the Pacific coast, to assist in the rescue of the man, authorities said.

The victim, 25-year-old Henry Minh Hoang of West Covina, California, was reportedly hiking beyond a safety fence in an area of the park known as “the punch bowl” when he slipped and fell about 20 feet to the shoreline below.

“The victim was reportedly knocked unconscious from the fall and was swept into the ocean by the waves,” Oregon State Police said in a statement following the accident. “Witnesses lost sight of the victim and the rescue operation later [transitioned] into a likely recovery operation.”

Authorities searched for Hoang until the evening but eventually had to suspend their efforts until Sunday morning when it was safe to resume the operation, police said.

“At approximately 4:30 P.M., on March 5, the victim was located deceased on the shoreline, at the bottom of a nearby cliff,” said the Oregon State Police. “The decedent’s body was recovered and transported to a local funeral home.”

The area where Hoang had been hiking on Saturday has been known to be a dangerous part of the park and Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area’s website mentions the hazards specifically.

“The fragile nature of sandstone means the ocean is constantly eroding and re-sculpting the entire scene, right before your eyes,” the park’s website says. “Beyond the fence, the cliff edge can — and will — crumble without warning. It’s dangerous, and people have died after climbing over the safety fences. Don’t do it. The views are spectacular from the established viewpoints, on the safe side of the fence.”

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