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U.S. Coast Guard IDs Victim in Honokohau Marina Incident as Crew Member of Tour Vessel

By Tiffany DeMasters
April 6, 2022, 10:31 AM HST
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The diving community is shaken following an incident outside Honokohau Marina that resulted in the death of a crew member aboard the tour vessel Uhane Nui O Naiʻa.

Hawaiʻi Police Department along with the U.S. Coast Guard is investigating the incident that took place Monday, April 4. At approximately 6 p.m., HPD’s Kona patrol officers responded to the Honokohau Small Boat Harbor for the incident, which occurred about 10 minutes outside the Honokohau Marina. The victim was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Authorities have not yet released the name of the victim. However, Hawaii News Now spoke to a family member who identified her as a 52-year-old Kailua-Kona woman.

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Uhane Nui O Naiʻa is operated by Sunlight on Water. Big Island Now reached out for comment but received no callbacks.

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Teri Leicher, one of the managing partners of Jack’s Diving Locker, said the diving community is devastated by this “horrific accident.” While the victim didn’t work at her company, they knew her, as crew members from multiple companies would often run into each at the docks.

“We don’t know details and we don’t want to speculate,” Leicher said. “We’re trying to learn what we can to avoid this in the future.”

Leicher added their hearts go out to the victim’s family.

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HPD is also working in conjunction with the Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation. Anyone who may have information relative to this incident is encouraged to contact Petty Officer Graham of the United States Coast Guard at 808-763-6520.

This is a developing story. More information will be provided as it becomes available.

Tiffany DeMasters
Tiffany DeMasters is a reporter for Big Island Now. Tiffany worked as the cops and courts reporter for West Hawaii Today from 2017 to 2019. She also contributed stories to Ke Ola Magazine and Honolulu Civil Beat.
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