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2 women die in surf while digging for clams on Washington beaches

LONG BEACH, Wash. -- Two women have died in separate incidents after they were caught in rough surf while digging for clams with their spouses on ocean beaches in southwest Washington. Pacific County Sheriff Scott Johnson said on Facebook that the women were reported missing Friday around 9 p.m., roughly four minutes apart.

The first 911 call reported that a 70-year-old woman was lost in the surf north of Ocean Park on the Long Beach Peninsula.

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter was dispatched to the area but couldn't proceed because of a possible bird strike. Rough surf and inclement weather also affected the search.

The woman's body was found Saturday evening near Westport.

In the second case, a 61-year-old woman from Toledo was reported missing in the surf north of the mouth of Willapa Bay. She had been digging for clams with her husband when the two became separated. Her body was found in Pacific County around 5:30 a.m. Saturday.

The sheriff reminded people to be aware of powerful waves that can appear at any time.

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