Yet before Weber could get a proper start, the 25-year-old was swept out to sea at the mouth of the Klamath River by a tsunami surge generated thousands of miles away by the earthquake off Japan's coast. Rescuers were unable to reach him Friday and called off their efforts; he is presumed dead, though his body has not been found.
His would be the first death of a person on the West Coast by a tsunami since 1964, when 11 people in nearby Crescent City died from the surge created by an earthquake in Alaska.
"His life was always challenged with drug issues and being Indian," said his mother, Lori Davis, of Bend, Ore., after searching miles of beach with family members and friends for her son's body.
Below: "This February 2009 photo released by Bonny Elliott via NewsChannel 21/KTVZ.com, on Saturday, March 12, 2011, shows Dustin Weber at his mother's house in Bend, Ore. Weber, 25, was swept out to sea during Friday's tsunami in Northern California. Del Norte County Sheriff Dean Wilson says Weber was swept away and disappeared while taking pictures of the tsunami near the Klamath River." (AP Photo/Bonny Elliott via NewsChannel 21/KTVZ.com)