STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Conditions 'messy' at time of doctor's death, surf shop employee says

Brian Sudlow, an employee at a Ossies, a surf shop in Newport said conditions at the time of the incident were rough.

Posted: Dec 3, 2018 5:13 PM
Updated: Dec 3, 2018 7:27 PM

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Conditions were "messy" and "windy" over the weekend when a Corvallis doctor died, an employee at a surf shop in Newport said.

Oregon State Police said at about 3:30 p.m. Saturday, they received a 911 call reporting that Toren Stearns, 30, was in water and in distress near Otter Rock State Park, just north of Newport. 

RELATED: Corvallis doctor dies while surfing near Newport

Brian Sudlow, who works at the surf shop Ossies, said conditions at the time of the incident were rough. On Saturday, their shop refused to rent gear to their customers because of these conditions.

"That rip current will pull you out and you get pulled past that point, and it's kind of a crapshoot of where the water is moving at that point," Sudlow said. "You don't know what's going to happen."

Police said the U.S. Coast Guard dispatched a cutter boat and rescue helicopter to assist in the rescue. A local surfer also went into the water to help. A rescue swimmer recovered Stearns and brought him onto the beach.

Stearns was transported by helicopter to Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital in Newport, where he later died.

Dr. Sugat Patel, the Director of Medical Education at Good Samaritan Hospital in Corvallis, said Stearns was a valuable member of their psychiatric team. 

Patel said he didn't know Stearns personally, but he's spoken to people who did.

"I do know talking to members of his class and people reaching out to us that he was a genuinely kind-hearted and gentle soul," he said.

Patel said Stearns was in his fourth and final year of post-graduate training at Good Samaritan Hospital.

"This is a huge loss for our community and our department," he said. "Our hearts go out to his family, his fiancee and the members of his team."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 74119

Reported Deaths: 905
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah17242236
Washington10347101
Marion9207140
Clackamas616077
Umatilla434349
Lane430942
Jackson382531
Malheur240644
Deschutes236815
Yamhill172916
Linn142423
Polk125016
Douglas93018
Klamath8724
Jefferson83411
Benton7917
Union7826
Morrow6587
Lincoln62215
Josephine5374
Wasco53019
Columbia5063
Coos4253
Hood River4011
Clatsop3600
Baker2813
Crook2296
Curry1352
Grant1341
Lake1321
Tillamook1310
Harney991
Wallowa713
Gilliam230
Sherman230
Wheeler30
Unassigned00
Eugene
Overcast
45° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 39°
Corvallis
Broken Clouds
44° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 44°
Roseburg
Overcast
39° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 39°
North Bend
Overcast
46° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 46°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events