10-Year-Old Girl Orphaned After Watching Parents Get Swept Out to Sea

Oregon State Police released images of the scene where Wenjun Zhu, 41, and her husband, Miaochan Chen, 49, were swept out to sea.
Oregon State Police

A 10-year-old girl watched in horror as her parents were swept into the Pacific Ocean near a scenic point in Oregon, officials said.

Wenjun Zhu, 41, and her husband, Miaochan Chen, 49, were picnicking with their daughter off Otter Crest Loop near Depoe Bay when they decided to walk near the ocean at about 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Oregon State Police said.

The family had taken a trail down to rocks overlooking the water when a wave crashed down, sweeping Chen and Zhu into the sea, officials said.

Their young daughter was not injured in the incident.

Emergency responders located the unresponsive couple about an hour later and helicoptered them to a landing zone at Rocky Creek State Park, where an ambulance was waiting. 

Paramedics worked on the husband and wife as they were rushed to Pacific Communities Hospital, but they could not be saved.

The family had been living in the U.S. for less than three months when tragedy struck

Zhu, Chen and their daughter emigrated in July from China to Lake Oswego, about two hours away from where they were visiting Sunday, officials said.

The little girl was placed into a local foster home by the Department of Human Services, which is working on further placement. Family members have been notified of the incident, authorities said.


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