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California man dies bodyboarding at Po‘ipu Beach

POIPU — A 66-year-old bodyboarder died after being pulled from the waters at Poipu Beach on Thursday, county officials announced Friday.

The bodyboarder has been identified as Ramon Manalo, who was visiting the island from California.

According to a preliminary report from the Kaua‘i Police Department, bystanders pulled Manalo from the water at noon, bringing the unresponsive man to shore near Koloa’s Marriott Waiohai Beach Club.

Ocean Safety Bureau personnel at the Nukumoi lifeguard tower then saw bystanders calling for help, and lifeguards went to the scene to administer CPR.

Firefighters from the Koloa fire station then arrived to continue CPR efforts, followed by personnel from American Medical Response (AMR), who took over operations.

AMR personnel continued medical treatment while transporting Manalo to Wilcox Medical Center, but they were unable to revive Manalo. He was later pronounced dead by a
doctor at Wilcox Medical Center.

County officials did not say how long it took for emergency response teams to arrive on the scene or provide further details on the incident. They also did not say whether or not Manalo was bodyboarding alone or with others at the time.

Autopsy results are pending, according to the report.

The announcement follows the water-related death of another California visitor at Po‘ipu Beach in June. Judith Bailey, 77, died on June 19 after being pulled from the waters when lifeguards spotted a “snorkeler in distress,” according to an earlier report from county officials.

She was also later pronounced dead at Wilcox Medical Center.

According to data from the Hawaii health department, drownings were the third leading cause of any type of death for nonresidents in the state from 2013 to 2017, and drowning is also the leading cause of injury-related death.

“Most nonresident drowning deaths occurred while snorkeling, swimming, and unknown activity. The rate of fatal ocean drowning for nonresidents in Hawai‘i is about eight times higher than for residents,” according to the state’s website.

The department also stated Kaua‘i has the highest 10-year rate of total fatal ocean drownings when compared to all other major islands in the state, with 82.5 deaths per 100,000 people. Maui had the second highest with 64.6 deaths per 100,000 people, followed by Hawai‘i Island with 51.8, and O‘ahu with 27.2.


Emma Grunwald, reporter, can be reached 808-652-0638 or
Source: The Garden Island

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