Waipi‘o Drowning Victim Identified

May 18, 2018, 4:30 PM HST
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The Hawai‘i Island Police Department is investigating a Wednesday morning, May 16, 2018, public accident after an unresponsive man was pulled from the waters off of the Hāmākua coast.

At 9:23 a.m., police and fire personnel responded to a report of a man who was pulled from the ocean in Waipi‘o Valley. Witnesses reported that the victim was found floating face down approximately 50 yards from shore. Friends of the victim brought the man to shore and with the assistance of bystanders, performed CPR until the arrival of first responders.

The victim was flown out of the valley by the fire department’s helicopter, then taken by ambulance to Hale Ho‘ola Hāmākua where he was pronounced dead at 10:30 a.m.

The victim has been identified as 49-year-old Hiroshi Hamasaki, who was visiting from Osaka, Japan.

Detectives with the Area I Criminal Investigation Section are continuing the investigation that has been classified as a Coroner’s Inquest.


An autopsy was performed this morning, May 18. The preliminary cause of death was determined to be drowning.


Anyone who may have information about these incidents is asked to call the police department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311 or Detective Tuck Loy Aurello of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at (808) 961-2385 or [email protected].

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