Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Friday, March 11, 2011

As U.S. damage is measured, man dies trying to photograph tsunami

A 25-year-old man was declared dead Friday afternoon after being swept out to sea off a northern California beach while trying to photograph a tsunami launched by the massive earthquake near Japan, according to a Del Norte County, California, official.

The man's identity was withheld as authorities tried to contact his family, said Joey Young, a spokesman for the emergency operations center of Del Norte County.

"We had one person reported missing who has been confirmed dead," Young said. "The Coast Guard has been doing a search for the body, but the oceanic conditions are making it very difficult."

Meanwhile, harbors in California and Hawaii bore the brunt of scattered damage in the United States following Japan's deadly quake and tsunami.

A tsunami warning was in effect in the rural area where the 25-year-old man and two friends had dared to go on the beach north of Redwood National Park, a Coast Guard spokesman said. All three were swept into the ocean, but the two friends were able to return safely to shore near Klamath, California, the spokesman said.

The man had been standing on a sandbar at the mouth of the Klamath River when he was washed away, Young said.

Starting shortly after 10 a.m. PT Friday, Coast Guard helicopters searched for the man, said Lt. Todd Vorenkamp, a Coast Guard spokesman. Five hours later, the man was declared dead, authorities said. (read more)