Bride-to-be swept away by sneaker wave on Oregon Coast
12:52 PM MST on Thursday, December 4, 2008
NEWKOWIN, Ore. -- A young woman from the Philippines who had just moved to Oregon to join her fiancé was swept away by a huge wave just one week before her wedding day.
Scott Napper, 45, of Silverton, and his fiancé, Leafil Alforque, 22, were visiting Neskowin Beach last weekend when their lives were suddenly torn apart.
Napper planned to formally ask for Alforque’s hand in marriage on Proposal Rock. Tillamook County Sheriff Todd Anderson said the couple was walking along the beach and had just reached the famous landmark when all of the sudden, a sneaker wave slammed against them and swept the 93-pound woman into the ocean.
The couple was already set to wed on December 6th, but Napper had never formally proposed with a ring. This was supposed to be that special day.
Instead, he watched in horror as Alforque was pulled out to sea by the strong current. Napper told authoriteis that he saw his bride-to-be pop up briefly about 30 feet away, and then she was gone. Rescuers reached the area quickly and searched the surging waters, but found nothing.
Sheriff Anderson said the water was only 53 degrees and very turbulent. He said marine deputies and firefighters scanned the ocean from the beach and a Coast Guard helicopter was also called to the scene, but had to turn back due to heavy fog.
No one saw any sign of Alfoque again.
“The water can take people and items a long distance in a short period time. It’s all according to what the current is doing that day,” Anderson said.
The couple had met on the Internet and dated for two years before deciding to wed. They had met in person before she moved to Oregon and this was her first trip to the coast. No foul play was suspected, Anderson said.
He added that swimmers have drowned at Neskowin Beach before, but it’s not necessarily recognized as a dangerous beach.
“It’s just the sneaker waves, they can come up just about anywhere,” he said.
Six days after her disappearance, a small group of searchers were still scanning the water from the beach, in hopes of finding Alfoque‘s body.
“Now it’s just hoping that the ocean gives her back and for the family to have some closure,” Anderson said.