UPDATE: On Tuesday, Sept. 19, about 7 a.m. the Oregon State Police received a report of a body that had washed ashore on Short Sands Beach in Oswald West State Park. He was identified as Joseph M. Lescene, 51, of British Columbia. Original story below:
ARCH CAPE, Ore. -- The United States Coast Guard suspended its search for a missing man who reportedly fell off an 800-foot cliff at Oswald West State Park Sunday evening.
Coast Guard watchstanders received a report that 51-year-old Joseph McDonald Lescene, of British Columbia, Canada, "was witnessed, by his wife, to have fallen off an 800-foot cliff near Devil’s Cauldron."
Lescene and his wife, 42-year-old Sarah Jones Lescene, were hiking on the bluff near the trail when Joseph lost his footing and fell down the face of the cliff and into the water 800 feet below. Others in the area heard Sarah screaming and called 911.
Search crews were able to locate one of the man’s shoes and his backpack floating in the ocean below where he had reportedly fallen.
The search was suspended at 8:56 p.m., after the sun had set.
Coast Guard air and sea response crews were dispatched to the area and coordinated efforts with ground crews from the Oregon State Police and Manzanita Fire Department.
“Suspending a search is one of the hardest decisions we ever have to make,” said Sector Columbia River command duty officer Mark Dobney in a news release. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this tragic and trying time.”
The investigation is ongoing. Oregon State Police said no foul play is suspected.