By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News
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A candlelight vigil is scheduled in Chimacum for the girl, Lindsey Mustread, at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Her body was spotted washing ashore at about 9:30 a.m. about a mile south of where she had been wading off Bolstad Beach on the Long Beach Peninsula in southwest Washington, Long Beach Police Chief Flint Wright said.
The tide pulled Lindsey and her little brother, Kenneth, 9, out to sea Thursday afternoon, but crews rescued him after he was dragged into the waves; "the fact that boy was still alive was absolutely a miracle,” Wright said.
The girl's mother, Brandy Boyd, and her father, Jeremy Mustread, Boyd's former husband who flew in from Illinois, identified the body as their daughter, Wright said.
The family plans to bring her back to Chimacum, Wright said, but he did not know when exactly.
“There will be no autopsy,” the police chief added. “There's no reason to believe anything other than a drowning.”
Whitney McCann Meissner, Chimacum High School principal, posted this on her Facebook page Friday:
"We are going to hold a candlelight vigil for our sweet Chimacum girl who was lost to the Pacific Ocean.
"Saturday night, July 5, 7:00 PM, meet at the flagpole in front of Chimacum Schools [at the main campus, 91 West Valley Road].
"Please wear royal blue [Lindsey's favorite color], and if you have a candle, bring it. We'll supply some as well."
Lindsey and Kenneth were camping with other family members on the Long Beach Peninsula in Pacific County, about 175 miles southwest of their home in Chimacum, for the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
The siblings were wading about 2 p.m. Thursday when the riptide started pulling them away from shore, authorities said.
The boy treaded water for more than 20 minutes, bobbing his head in and out of the waves before rescue crews found him.
"His sister had encouraged him to swim to shore — was the last thing he remembers before he was separated from his sister," Coast Guard Lt. Scott McCrew told KATU-TV in Portland, Ore.
Kenneth was taken to Ocean Beach Hospital in Ilwaco and had been discharged by Friday morning, Wright said. “I understand he's doing quite well,” he said.
Coast Guard Petty Officer Third Class Jordan Akiyama said an air-and-water search for the girl was suspended Thursday night after seven hours.
'Absolutely a miracle'
Wright called it miraculous that the boy was found alive.
“The fact that boy was still alive after 20-plus minutes in the water was absolutely a miracle,” Wright said. "When they found him, nobody expected him to be alive.”
After the boy was taken from the water, a rescue swimmer tested the direction of the currents to get an idea of where the girl might be, Wright said.
“Within minutes” of getting in the water, “he was a hundred yards off shore,” Wright said. “The water was definitely sucking out.”
Surf rescue team leader Doug Knutzen said only the very top of the boy's face was out of the water when rescuers reached him.
Bill Thompson, a beachgoer who witnessed the rescue, said the waters in the spot were "deceiving."
'If you go too far it's a sheer drop, and there's no way to get out of that especially when the winds blowing like it is, the water just rolls you" he told KATU-TV.
"Large numbers of summer visitors coupled with warm temperatures have set the stage for potential drownings as the Long Beach Peninsula gets set for the long July 4 holiday weekend," the website of a local newspaper, The Daily Astorian, reported Friday.
"While the search for the girl continued, other families were permitting small children to play in the adjacent surf.
"Visitors to local beaches should be especially cautious when allowing children into the surf, as rip tides and sneaker waves make the ocean considerably dangerous."