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Body of man swept out to sea after Crescent City tsunami is identified

April 12, 2011 | 12:24 pm

Dustin Douglas Weber in 2009 The body of a man swept out to sea last month after a tsunami destroyed Crescent City’s fishing harbor has been identified as that of 25-year-old Dustin Douglas Weber, authorities said Tuesday.

Weber's body was discovered near the mouth of the Columbia River on April 2, said Eugene Gray, forensic administrator for the Oregon state medical examiner’s office. That's about 300 miles north of the Klamath River, where Weber and friends were taking photos and skipping stones when a wave carried him away.

According to an Associated Press report, Weber’s grandmother, a member of the Yurok Tribe, had just given him her old house high on a ridge near Klamath, about 20 miles from Crescent City. Two weeks before the Japanese tsunami on March 11, his father drove an elated Weber from Bend to his new home.

The tsunami caused 6- to 8-foot waves that flooded beaches and harbors along the Pacific Northwest. But Weber’s parents said their son and his friends believed the danger had already passed when they decided to take in the scene on the north side of the Klamath River.

Weber was with two friends at the mouth of the river when they were pulled into the ocean, authorities said at the time. His friends were able to swim to safety.

Weber's is the first tsunami-related fatality in the U.S. since a 1964 tsunami devastated Crescent City, killing 11 people.

The recent Japanese tsunami was triggered by a 9.1 magnitude earthquake. It battered several California harbors, with the most severe damage occurring in Crescent City.


Search called off for man swept out to sea

--Lee Romney

Photo: Weber at his mother's house in Bend, Ore., in February 2009. Credit: Bonny Elliott / NewsChannel 21/KTVZ.com