East Hawaii News

Opihi Picker Drowns Near OTEC in Kona

December 30, 2012, 8:09 AM HST
* Updated January 18, 1:17 PM
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Just before 3:30 pm Saturday Dec. 29, the Hawaii Fire Department responded to a call reporting a man unresponsive in the waters off OTEC in Kailua-Kona.

HFD personnel responding to the scene arrived to find a Caucasian man floating face-down 100 yards off shore.

The yet unidentified man, estimated to be 40 to 45-years-old, reportedly went opihi picking at approximately 9 a.m. He was spotted floating off shore by bystanders at around 3:24 p.m.

A total of 12 HFD personnel were involved in the search and recovery of the victim’s remains.

This is at least the second incidence of an opihi picker drowning this year. In May, a 43-year-old Papaikou man died after being swept off-shore while retrieving opihi in Onomea.

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