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Wailkola Surfer Dies at ‘Lighthouse’

November 14, 2016, 4:21 PM HST
* Updated November 14, 4:24 PM
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Big Island Now file photo. Nov. 2016

Big Island Now file photo. Nov. 2016

A 63-year-old man died while surfing Saturday morning, Nov. 12, in waters off Lighthouse Road in Hāwī.

He has been identified as John Willard of Waikoloa.

In response to a 10:16 a.m. call reporting an unresponsive man at a surf spot known as “Lighthouse,” officers learned that Willard had not been surfing long when he caught a wave and disappeared.

Other surfers in the area went to investigate.

They found Willard floating face down in the water and took him to shore.

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Fire rescue personnel used a helicopter to carry him to a waiting ambulance.

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He was taken to Kohala Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 11:23 a.m.

The case has been classified as a coroner’s inquest.

An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

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