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Honaunau Information Update for June 10th, 2020

Fisherman drowns in waters offshore of Kipu Rock in Honaunau late Tuesday evening (June 9th).

Published by: HIRSC - Utah (Springdale) and Hawaii Island (Holualoa) Teams


The Hawaii Fire Department (HFD) along with the Hawaii Police Department (HPD) and United States Coast Guard (USCG) responded to a report of an apparent drowning in waters offshore of Kipu Rock late Tuesday evening (June 9th).

The initial call came in 10:57 pm Tuesday evening and HFD crews from the Captain Cook Keauhou, and Kailua (Rescue Company 7) Fire Stations along with Chopper 2 (from the South Kohala Fire Station), HPD Officers from the Kona Patrol, and USCG Dolphin Helicopter from Barber's Point Station on Oahu responded to the scene located offshore of Kipu Rock in Honaunau, South Kona.

Upon the arrival of emergency crews, reports had come in from a group of fishermen on the coastline near Kipu Rock that one person (described as a male in his 50's) in their party had gotten into distress after being swept in and apparently drowned in the rough ocean conditions. Parties onshore had attempted to bring the victim back up the cliff, however, they were unsuccessful due to the strong South current and later lost sight of the victim. They awaited the arrival of emergency crews for further assistance.

Once emergency crews arrived at the scene, HFD crews met with the reporting party at the scene and hiked down to the last known location of the victim. HFD and HPD crews conducted a brief search of the surrounding area by land and sea. Due to weather conditions in the area, Chopper 2 had to return to quarters and USCG Dolphin Helicopter arrived at the scene and conducted a brief search of the surrounding waters and coastline by air.

HFD crews aboard Rescue Boat 7 later located the victim's body near Kipu Rock coastline and brought the victim to Keauhou Pier to an awaiting HFD Medic, where they later transported the victim to the Kona Community Hospital, where the official pronouncement of death was made.

HPD continues to investigate the incident.

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