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2 dead after apparent drowning off Keauhou resort

KAILUA-KONA — Two people are dead after apparently drowning Sunday afternoon near the Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa at Keauhou Bay.

Emergency responders from the Hawaii Fire Department arrived on scene at 4:11 p.m. after they received a report of two people floating face down in the water. Hawaii Police Department spokesman Alan Richmond said the call to the Fire Department was initiated after witnesses heard a woman crying for help from “rough waters.”

Three responders approached the captain and crew of the Hula Kai vessel, which was docked in Keauhou Bay between excursions. In the interest of time, emergency responders requested transport to the rescue site.

“Their boat was going to take a little bit of time for them to get out, so they were able to hop on with us and we were able to go,” said Alex Dant, vice president of operations for Fair Wind Cruises, which operates the Hula Kai.

Responders located the victims after a roughly 2-minute search.

According to a Fire Department press release, a man, estimated to be in his 40s or 50s, was located 15 feet from the coastline, while a woman, estimated to be in her 40s, was pulled out of the water roughly 40 feet from shore.

Fire officials said resuscitation efforts were made on both patients as they were transported back to the pier. Once on shore, the man and woman were transported in critical condition to Kona Community Hospital, where they were pronounced dead on arrival, Richmond confirmed.

As of Monday afternoon, it was unclear if the deceased were visiting or residents of Hawaii Island or elsewhere in the state. Authorities have not yet released the names of the victims.

Email Max Dible at mdible@westhawaiitoday.com.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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