Two South Eugene "Mr. Axeman" finalists drown in Yachats

Two South Eugene "Mr. Axeman" finalists drown in Yachats
Connor Gregory Ausland (top) and Jack Harnsongkram.

Update from Oregon State Police Sunday 10:00 a.m.

YACHATS, Ore. -- The body of Jack Harnsongkram, 17, one of two Eugene-area teenagers who drowned after being swept into the Pacific Ocean in the Yachats area Saturday afternoon, was recovered Sunday morning.

On February 6, 2010 at approximately 7:00 a.m. a local citizen who was aware of Saturday's tragic drownings was checking the shoreline near where the teen was missing and spotted his body on the rocks.  Yachats Fire Department personnel responded and recovered the body before it was washed back into the ocean.  The boy's family was staying in the area and notified.

He was one of two Eugene-area teenagers who died Saturday afternoon in the Yachats area when they were swept off a rocky outcropping into the Pacific Ocean and drowned. One of the victims, Connor Gregory Ausland, 18, was recovered Saturday afternoon following efforts by U.S. Coast Guard, Oregon State Police, Lincoln County Sheriff's Office and Yachats Fire Department.

According to OSP Sergeant Justin McGladrey, on February 5, 2011 at approximately 12:40 p.m. OSP Northern Command Center dispatch was notified by Lincoln County 9-1-1 that a group of teenagers were on a rocky outcropping near Adobe Resort on the south end of Smelt Sands State Park when two of them were swept into the ocean.  Their friends were not able to help them and both subsequently drowned.

Emergency responding agencies were unable to recover Harnsongkram body until Sunday morning.  Both victims were students at South Eugene High School visiting the area with several fellow students and adults.

OSP has advised school administrators of this update.  School administrators and staff are helping students and their families during this difficult time.


YACHATS, Ore.--Police say two South Eugene High School students have drowned on the Oregon coast near Yachats.

It happened near Smelt Sands State Park at Yachats.

Officials have recovered the body of 18 year old Conner Ausland and are still trying to find the body of his 17 year old friend, Jack Harnsongkram.

Police say after 12 noon Saturday, Oregon State Police received a call that a group of teenagers from Eugene was on a rocky part of the coast when two were swept from the rocky shores into the ocean.

Both boys we're finalists for South Eugene High School's "Mr. Axeman" competition.

Conner Ausland was an Ultimate Frisbee player and a basketball star, and played his final basketball game the night before against Willamette High School.

Athletic Director, and Ausland's Head Basketball coach, Dave Hancock described Ausland as an outstanding young man on and off the court, saying he was "much more than a basketball player".

Jack Harnsongkram was an avid member of the Axemen's Outdoor rock climbing program. The search for Harnsongkram's body continues along the coast tomorrow.

A teammate of Ausland's was also present along the coast when the tragedy swept the boys to sea. Coach Hancock says the team will gather together Sunday afternoon.