Jessica Cejnar Andrews / Monday, May 15, 2023 @ 2:54 p.m. / Emergencies

Body of 44-Year-Old Man Recovered After His Boat Was Swept Out Of Klamath River Mouth

A U.S. Coast Guard vessel recovered the body of a 44-year-old man whose boat was swept out of the Klamath River mouth early Monday morning, according to the Del Norte County Sheriff.

Ira Sterling Norris was in a 14-foot boat on the river when the motor quit working and his vessel drifted into the river’s mouth at about 1:30 a.m., Sheriff Garrett Scott told the Wild Rivers Outpost.

Norris was unable to get to the anchor to keep the boat from drifting due to the nets he was using for fishing, Scott said.
The Coast Guard’s rescue boat found Norris’s body in the netting at about 11 a.m., the sheriff told the Outpost. Next of kin was notified, Scott said.

“It appears the waves caused the boat to flip and the decedent got hung up in the netting and that’s what caused him to drown,” he said. “The boat has not been recovered. The boat was located in the water, but they were unable to get to it because the ocean was at high tide. It was just extremely rough and extremely rough water to deal with.”

Norris and another individual had been camping near Klamath Beach Road at an area called the old dance site, Scott said.

No one else was in the boat, the Yurok Tribal Police Department posted on Facebook.

Responding agencies included Yurok Tribal Police, the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office, Del Norte Search & Rescue and the Coast Guard, which sent a helicopter in addition to a boat. Scott said property owners in the area also allowed emergency officials access to the beach.

“We’re just thankful for their help and all the rescue folks that were involved,” he said. “And huge condolences to the family for this tragedy. It was a terrible situation.”


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