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UPDATE 1: Kehena Beach Apparent Drowning Victim Identified

January 22, 2017, 3:20 PM HST
* Updated January 27, 12:17 PM
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UPDATE: Jan. 24

Hawaiʻi Island police have initiated a coroner’s inquest investigation into the death of a North Kohala man who was swimming in rough water at Kehena Beach in Pāhoa, Sunday afternoon, Jan. 22.

Police and fire department personnel responded to a 12:06 p.m. call of a man in distress in the water off the Kehena Beach shore.

Several people attempted to assist the man back to shore but were unable to get to him due to the rough ocean conditions.

The swimmer was last seen going under the water.

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His body was later recovered by fire/rescue personnel approximately 100 feet from shore.

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He has been identified as 43-year-old Erik Collins of Kapaʻau.

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

ORIGINAL POST: Jan. 22

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The Hawai‘i County Fire Department responded to a report about a swimmer in distress—a possible drowning victim— in the ocean fronting Kehena Beach in Pāhoa on Sunday, Jan. 22 at 12:04 p.m.

Upon arrival at 12:27 p.m.,  bystanders told first-responders that all other swimmers were out of the water except for one male, who was last seen near a rock outcropping on the south side of the beach.

SKI-1 personnel located the body on the ocean floor in about 30 feet of water 100 yards off shore south of where he was last seen.

SKI-1 personnel retrieved the swimmer and C-1 transported hi to M-5, who was waiting at Kalapana Seaview Estates landing zone.

The Hawai‘i Police Department escorted body with M-5 to Hilo Medical Center.

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