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2 Men Dead After Apparent Drowning Incident in Kaʻū

July 13, 2021, 10:06 AM HST
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Authorities are investigating an apparent drowning in Kaʻū after two men were swept out to sea over the weekend.

Hawai‘i Police along with Hawai‘i Fire Department, and US Coast Guard personnel responded to the incident on Friday, July 9, at approximately 10:56 p.m. When first responders arrived on scene they learned a 42-year-old man had fallen into the ocean while fishing along the remote shoreline at the end of the Road to the Sea.

“Bystanders and family members entered the water and attempted to rescue the victim,” according to an HPD press release. “Both the victim and another 39-year-old man who entered the water to assist were subsequently swept further out into the ocean by the current. Three others who attempted the rescue made it safely back to shore.”

At 3:24 a.m. on Saturday, July 10, Coast Guard helicopter personnel found both men unresponsive in the ocean. They were flown to the Miloli‘i boat ramp, before being taken to Kona Community Hospital where they were pronounced dead at 7:05 a.m.

The victims were identified as 42-year-old Patrick Fuga of Hōloaloa and 39-year-old Petelo “Lo” Finau, of Kailua-Kona.

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Police have opened a coroner’s inquest investigation in connection with this incident and have ordered an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

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Anyone who may have information relative to this incident is asked to call the department’s non-emergency number at 808-935-3311, or Officer Rodney Kekaualua Jr. in the Kaʻū patrol division at 808-939-2520.

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