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Man drowns at Makalawena

Updated: 
December 6, 2017 - 12:05am

KEKAHA KAI — One person is dead and another is being treated at the hospital after being caught in a riptide at Makalawena Beach Tuesday afternoon, Hawaii fire officials confirmed.

About 3 p.m., dispatch received a report of three distressed swimmers at the beach. One of the swimmers was reported unable to swim.

Hawaii Fire Captain Sean Sommers said by the time emergency crews arrived at the beach, two males had been pulled out of the water and a bystander had already begun CPR on one of the swimmers.

Hawaii Police Maj. Robert Wagner identified the victim as a tourist who reportedly swam out to retrieve a football and “subsequently drowned” and that the water wasn’t safe due to weather conditions.

Sommers said rescue crews continued CPR on the swimmer, however they were unable to resuscitate him.

Because of the rough road to the beach, Sommers said Chopper 2 was flown out to assist with quickly bringing patients and personnel out from the beach to a parking area off of Queen Kaahumanu Highway. The second swimmer was brought out by helicopter and then taken to Kona Community Hospital by ground ambulance for treatment.

A third distressed swimmer was not located as it turned out only two swimmers were in distress. Fire officials say the two individuals needed treatment.

Official cause of death for the male at the beach will be determined by the medical examiner’s office.

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