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Man falls 300 feet to his death while hiking with wife along Oregon coast

Man rescued as he clings to cliffside
Barefoot man rescued via helicopter as he clings to California cliffside 01:18

A California man has died after falling 300 feet during a hike with his wife in Oregon, officials said in a news release

Richard Ehrhart, 69, was hiking the Natural Bridges coastal trail in Oregon's Curry County with his wife, Susan Kimura, on Sunday. The two separated on the trail, the sheriff's office said, and Kimura returned to the couple's car. 

It's not clear what led to the San Jose resident's fall. 

The Curry County Sheriff's Office said that it received a call from a person who reported seeing someone who appeared to be deceased on the rocks below the trail at around 2:35 p.m. local time. Deputies from the Curry County Sheriff's Office arrived on the scene, as well as an Oregon State Trooper. Members of the sheriff's office search and rescue team were called to the scene, the news release said, and two team members rappelled down to where Ehrhart had fallen. 

The search and rescue team members, as well as other officials who were on the scene, carried Ehrhart's body back to the trail, where he was identified. 

Recovery efforts underway at Oregon's Natural Bridges.  Curry County Sheriff's Office

A chaplain was called to the scene to help inform Kimura of her husband's death, the sheriff's office said. 

An investigation into the fall led by the Oregon State Police is underway, the sheriff's office said. 

The sheriff's office said that the incident should serve as a reminder of the "dangers of hiking the coastal trails," and warned potential hikers to be safe in the area. 

The coastal trail is an easy hike, according to, which categorizes and provides hiking instructions for trails nationwide, and provides views of arched rocks over the ocean. However, the area has "steep cliffs" and it's recommended that hikers always stay on marked trails and viewpoint areas, the site says.  

Dramatic Oregon Coastline and Arch
The view from the Natural Bridges Viewpoint in Oregon. / Getty Images
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