Surfer's arm severed in boat collision

July 9, 2008 at 12:49 PM
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PACIFIC CITY, Ore., July 9 (UPI) -- Doctors say they won't know for several weeks if an Oregon surfer will regain use of the arm they reattached after he was run over by a boat.

Cole Ortega, 14, of Bend, Ore., ran into a dory Tuesday while surfing at Pacific City and had his arm severed just above the elbow by the boat's propeller.

"For the level of injury …he is doing very well," Cole's father, Charlie Ortega, told The Oregonian, a Portland, Ore., newspaper.

The newspaper said Wednesday that the incident has caused new discussion in Pacific City about safety in the sheltered cove that is known for good surfing and also is a playground for tourists who rent out the dories, the newspaper said.

A dory is a flat-bottomed boat that is launched from the beach that must navigate the surf while both heading out to sea and returning. Locals told The Oregonian the biggest problem is the difficulty people on a dory have seeing surfers over the tops of the waves.

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