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Officials ID Marine Who Died While Swimming Offshore Near North Beach on Oʻahu

April 27, 2022, 6:31 PM HST
* Updated April 27, 6:55 PM
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Official logo Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

Military officials have identified a Marine who died while swimming offshore near North Beach, Marine Corps Base Hawaii on Sunday, April 20.

Private First Class Isaac H. Romero, assigned to Marine Wing Support Squadron 174, was swimming until a friend, sitting on the beach, was no longer able to visibly locate him. The friend called the installation Provost Marshal’s Office at 2 p.m. and first responders arrived on scene shortly thereafter.

First responders, including the Honolulu Fire Department, MCBH Water Front Operations and local lifeguards, began searching near Romero’s last known location – approximately 50 to 60 meters offshore – until locating him under the surface in shallow water at 2:47 p.m.

Romero was brought ashore where first responders administered life-saving measures. He was then transported by ambulance to Castle Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased at 3:42 p.m.

At the time of the incident, Marine Corps Community Services Water Safety Office reported beach conditions were yellow flag with 6-12 foot faces and winds gusting up to 20 miles per hour from the east northeast.

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The Commanding Officer of MCBH has ordered an immediate and temporary closure of several beaches aboard the installation to conduct a review of beach safety procedures and risk management practices. The beaches will remain closed until May 4.

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The investigation by NCIS and local authorities is ongoing.

“Our heartfelt sympathies and deepest condolences go out to Isaac’s family and friends, and we join them in remembering and mourning this Marine,” said Lt. Col. Gideon Grissett, commanding officer, Marine Wing Support Squadron 174. “His enthusiasm and devotion to duty inspired others with his
positive, upbeat attitude. We are grateful to have had the opportunity to know him and be a part of our Marine Corps family.”

Romero, 22, a native of Ramsey, Minnesota, joined the Marine Corps in April 2021. He reported to
Marine Wing Support Squadron 174 in December 2021 after completing training as a combat engineer. The day before his death marked one year in the service. His decorations include the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

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A memorial service will be held on May 6, at the MCBH Chapel to honor the life and service of PFC Romero.

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