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'Just stay off the rocks': Witness winds up injured during Oregon Coast search effort

Stock Photo: US Coast Guard / Grant DeVuyst

DEPOE BAY, Ore. - A man reported seeing 3 people vanish from rocks along the Oregon Coast on Sunday, only to become a trauma case himself as he slipped and fell on the rocks attempting to show searchers where he'd seen the people.

The Depoe Bay Fire District and US Coast Guard responded to the report Sunday afternoon around 1:30.

After hours of searching from land, air and sea, searchers found no signs that anyone was in the water or had been on the rocks.

"We can't confirm that there is anybody in the water," said Fire Chief Joshua Williams. "We are acting like there was."

Williams said there were no other witnesses who reported seeing people on the rocks. Oregon State Police have not received any reports of missing people in the area, he added.

The witness tried to show searchers where he thought he had seen the people - only to fall and hit his head.

"He was trying to do his best," Williams said. "He ended up being a major focus and had to be flown to Portland."

Williams said the situation is a good reminder for Oregon Coast residents.

"Just stay off the rocks," he said. "Fall and winter coming, we're getting into the big waves, things are changing."

And if you think you see someone in trouble, don't try to rescue them yourselves. Call authorities.

"We've got helmets. We're prepared," the fire chief said. "Unfortunately, Good Samaritans are not."

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