1 presumed dead among Beaverton high school students wading at Cannon Beach

By Elizabeth Miller (OPB)
May 15, 2023 7:13 p.m. Updated: May 16, 2023 9:46 p.m.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect new information shared on Tuesday. The four Beaverton students were not swimming, but wading in knee-deep water before being pulled out into the ocean by a rip current. A story with additional information is available here.

A Beaverton high school senior is presumed dead after he didn’t emerge from the Pacific Ocean near Cannon Beach Friday.


In a message shared with the school community Sunday night, Mountainside High School principal Todd Corsetti said the lost student, senior Jacob Stokes, was a “friend to many.”

“Friends and teachers describe him as focused yet easygoing and just a super nice person,” Corsetti said. Stokes was a member of the school’s cross country and track team, and had just recorded a personal best in the 100 meters at a recent track meet.

A photo of Jacob Stokes shared by the Beaverton School District.

A photo of Jacob Stokes shared by the Beaverton School District.

Courtesy of the Beaverton School District

Monday, Corsetti said teachers would read a statement about Stokes in morning classes. Counselors would be made available to students during the day as well.


Stokes and three other Beaverton students were wading in knee-deep water in the ocean at Cannon Beach Friday, according to the Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District. Initially, the Cannon Beach RFPD said the students were “swimming” but on Tuesday, clarified the situation.

Officials with the Beaverton School District confirmed that all four were Beaverton students. Two of the students were out of the ocean by the time officials arrived and one was rescued and taken to the hospital. That student was released over the weekend, according to Beaverton district officials.

Cannon Beach officials searched Friday until dark but did not find Stokes. Beaverton district officials said his body had not been found as of Sunday.

Cannon Beach fire officials said, along with crews from Seaside Fire, Nehalem Bay Fire and the Coast Guard, 11 fire personnel and three jet skis were dispatched and searched for Stokes for over an hour Friday. From there, the Coast Guard took over the mission.

“Cannon Beach Fire District and Seaside Fire & Rescue would like to remind everyone the Pacific Ocean currents are unpredictable and rip currents can take a person out in a matter of seconds,” Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District officials said in a press release Friday.

Stokes had planned to attend Oregon State University in the fall, according to the district.

Cross country and track and field coach John Gaffney shared a message on the team’s Instagram account over the weekend, acknowledging the loss and inviting all of the team members to come to practice.

“Jacob recently shared that his favorite memory of being on the track and field teams was bonding with friends at meets,” Gaffney wrote. “I believe we would honor him well by being together tomorrow.”