Body of missing Franklin HS counselor found off Oregon Coast

Oregon Coast

Hoang Minh Tran was reported missing Saturday night after sailing out of Newport earlier in the day

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A body found off the coast of Yaquina Bay belongs to a Clackamas man reported missing on Saturday evening, troopers said.

Hoang Minh Tran’s body was found Tuesday at about 10:30 a.m. by the U.S. Coast Guard, according to Oregon State Police. Authorities said he was wearing a life jacket.

Tran’s family said the 58-year-old father sailed out of Newport on Saturday but did not return. His boat, the “Kiwanda,” was last seen around 7 p.m. that night heading north by a bar tower watchstander at the Yaquina Bay Coast Guard Station.

Hoang Tran and his family. (Courtesy of Andrea Tran)

The Coast Guard sent a total of 8 combined search parties out Sunday morning to the Whale Cove area south of Depoe Bay, including a drone and aircrew, but “all searches resulted in negative results,” said the Coast Guard Sector North Bend.

The search was suspended early Monday morning after crew members found a handful of items believed to be from the Kiwanda: wood, a life jacket, a piece of a marine sanitation device and a strobe light with the name of the boat written on it.

The Yaquina Bay Coast Guard station reported finding a body in the ocean Tuesday morning, according to OSP. Troopers identified the body as Tran’s.

No further details have been released. The investigation is ongoing.

Hoang Tran’s sail boat, “Kiwanda.” (Courtesy of Andrea Tran)

Tran was a counselor at Franklin High School. Extra counselors were on hand to help students and staff cope with the sudden loss.

“In the classes, some of the kids that do know, the mood has just gone done,” said sophomore Sarah Duncan. “He was such a good guy — a good counselor — just a good guy.”

Carter Rogers, a junior who helped out in the counseling office at Franklin High School, said Tran was always helpful — offering practical advice to help them succeed in school and life.

“He was fun, happy — he always had a smile on his face,” said Rogers. “He was always very kind to others and always wanted to help as much as he could.”

Rogers said many people just want answers.

“I know everybody is kind of on edge and wanting to figure out what’s going on and what happened, officially,” he said.

Members of Tran’s family said the sailing enthusiast fled Vietnam in 1975 and met the love of his life in the Pacific Northwest. He leaves behind his wife and 2 children.

Hoang Tran and his family. (Courtesy Andrea Tran)

Rogers passed on his condolences to Tran’s family.

“Mr. Tran was a very amazing counselor and I know everybody here is going to miss him greatly,” he said.

Franklin High School Principal Chris Frazier sent a statement to parents after Tran’s body was identified.

“This is terrible news that impacts all of us at Franklin and our district,” Frazier wrote. “Mr. Tran was a beloved member of our school community and in his role as school counselor supported a generation of Franklin students. He will be deeply missed at Franklin and throughout the larger community where he served in numerous roles; but was best known for his role as a passionate student and parent advocate. Mr. Tran worked with a servant’s heart, always putting the needs of students first and his impact on our community will forever remain in our hearts.”

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