East Hawaii News

Japanese Visitor Dies at Thurston Lava Tube

February 6, 2015, 10:50 AM HST
* Updated February 6, 11:31 AM
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National Park Service authorities say that a 71-year-old man died Thursday at Thurston Lava Tube in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park.

The unidentified Japanese visitor suffered from an apparent heart attack after reportedly walking up the steepest section of the trail and feeling fatigued.

John Broward, acting Chief Ranger, said that upon feeling fatigued, the man sat down to rest. It was then that he collapsed, lost consciousness, and stopped breathing.

Before park rangers could arrive with an automated external defibrillator, several nurses and a tour operator performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Upon arrival, rangers went through three cycles of CPR and AED analysis. The AED machine could not detect the man’s heart rhythm.

County of Hawai’i Medic 19 arrived on scene and took over care of the man. Following county medic protocol, a Hilo Medical Center doctor pronounced the man dead through online medical control.

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Officials have not released the name of the man pending further notification of his family.

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