Teenage surfer loses arm in boating accident near Pacific City, Oregon

The Seattle Times reports that a 14-year-old surfer, Cole Ortega of Bend, Oregon, lost his arm in a boating accident with a dory boat off Cape Kiwanda. Ortega was airlifted to Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland and is listed in “serious condition.” The family said they would not release information about the possible re-attachment of the arm. The arm was retrieved by Frank Lippy, an ER doctor affiliated with Kaiser Permanente who was at the beach at the time. Bend television station, KTVZ-TV, however, reports that the arm was reattached.

The dory boat was driven by Darrell Martin, 55, of Beaver, Oregon. The Times quoted The Oregonian newspaper that Martin was “in shock and expressed extreme remorse.” The accident occurred at Cape Kiwanda, a popular spot for boaters, surfers, windsurfers, kayakers, swimmers and hang gliders.

The Tillamook sheriff’s department is investigating the accident to determine whether anyone should be cited. Oregon Marine Board regulations state that boats within 200 feet of “a swimmer, surfer, diving flag, bank or wading angler” cruise at no more than 5-mph speed. It is common practice in this area for the dory boat drivers to sound a continuous horn as they approach.

This information was brought to you by Washington Injury Attorney, a service of The Farber Law Group. We are boating accident attorneys who represent people with serious personal injuries due to the negligence of others.

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