South Point Drowning Victim Identified

July 26, 2019, 3:41 PM HST (Updated July 26, 2019, 3:43 PM)
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Hawaiʻi Island police have identified the body recovered from the ocean on July 15, 2019, near South Point in Ka‘ū.

The victim was identified via dental records as 23-year-old Charles Senechal of Bellingham, Massachusetts. He was previously reported missing in waters off of Green Sands Beach.

On Saturday, July 13, at 5:56 p.m., friends of the victim called 911 to report that Senechal did not return to shore after their group of seven went swimming at Green Sands Beach. None of the others in the group were injured.

Hawai`i Fire Department personnel and their helicopter responded to the scene and started a search. They were later joined by a United States Coast Guard helicopter and cutter who assisted with the search through the following Monday.

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At 9:43 a.m. on July 15, recreational divers found the victim approximately 200 yards offshore from Green Sands Beach and under 50 feet of water. He was extricated from the ocean by HFD personnel before being taken to the Hilo Medical Center, where the official pronouncement of death was made at 2:36 p.m.

No foul play is suspected, and preliminary autopsy results determined the cause of death to be drowning.

Anyone who may have information about this incident is asked to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311 or Officer Douglas Phillips, of our Ka‘ū Patrol Division at (808) 939-2520.

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