2 Women Die While Digging for Clams Friday Night

Incidents happened along the southwestern Washington state coast
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 5, 2018 11:05 AM CST
A stock photo of people clamming along the Washington coast.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – The two calls were placed to 911 in Pacific County, Wash., within a four-minute period on Friday night. First, at 8:57pm, a call from north of Ocean Park on the Long Beach Peninsula, where a 70-year-old woman who'd been digging for clams with her husband disappeared into the surf. At 9:01pm, a nearly identical story: A 61-year-old who'd been digging for clams with her husband near Grayland but became separated from him was reported as missing, per a Facebook post from the Pacific County Sheriff's Office. It reports the search for the women was hampered by bad weather; their bodies were found about 12 hours apart, around 5:30am and 5pm Saturday.

Willamette Week reports the women were clamming just 8 miles apart from each other at opposite ends of the Willapa Bay's mouth, which sits in the southwest corner of the state. The warning from officials: "These incidents serve as a tragic reminder that one must always be vigilant of the powerful surf and waves that are often present on our ocean beaches. Always stay close to other clammers, bring a flashlight or lantern, a waterproof cellphone, and never turn your back on the surf as 'sneaker waves' can appear at any time."

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