Mother, daughter saved from rough Seaside surf

Shara Ford, David Rankin and Sam Whisler with Seaside’s beach rescue vehicle in 2016. The team saved a mother and daughter from rough surf.

The Gearhart Fire Department mourned the sudden passing of Astoria police officer Sam Whisler.

Whisler served as a firefighter with Gearhart Fire from 2011 until 2019 including three years as the department’s intern.

“He left to pursue his dream of becoming a law enforcement officer,” firefighters wrote in a statement. “His dream became a reality in 2020 when he joined the Astoria Police Department as a full-time officer. Sam had a lasting impact on so many people affiliated with Gearhart Fire, and he will be greatly missed.”

Whisler was remembered at Monday’s Seaside City Council meeting.

“I know Sam’s greatest ambition was to be a police officer, like his dad, which makes the pain for him even more severe,” Mayor Jay Barber said. “And so our thoughts and prayers are with that family. Such an outstanding young man and life cut short.”

Seaside Fire Chief Joey Daniels expressed condolences to the family. “Sam was also a lifeguard for several years and I worked with him, Gearhart Fire, so it’s personal. And I grew up with the family. We wish them the best.”

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