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Visitor dies after being pulled from ocean

WAINIHA — A 20-year-old female visitor from Idaho died after being pulled from the water off Lumaha‘i Beach on Wednesday afternoon.

The Kaua‘i Police Department (KPD) said the incident happened at approximately 3 p.m. Wednesday, at which time first responders were dispatched to the area.

“According to a preliminary report, the victim had been swimming when she was suddenly swept out into deeper water. Kaua‘i Fire Department personnel with the Kaiakea fire station, Rescue 3 aboard Air 1 and Ocean Safety Bureau (OSB) lifeguards with the North Roving Patrol Unit responded to the incident,” the KPD said.

“Rescue 3 aboard Air 1 located the unresponsive woman in the water at approximately 3:10 p.m. She was brought to shore by OSB personnel. Rescuers immediately began to administer CPR until AMR (American Medical Response) medics arrived on scene and took over advanced resuscitation efforts.”

The woman, whose name was not released, was then taken to Wilcox Memorial Hosptial in Lihu‘e where she was pronounced dead. An autopsy is pending to determine the cause of death, but foul play is not suspected, the KPD said.

Volunteers with Life’s Bridges, a grief counseling service, were contacted to offer support to the victim’s family.

The incident prompted a reminder from acting Assistant KPD Chief Paul Applegate about the danger associated with swimming in the ocean.

“Our ocean can be beautiful and enticing, but it can also be unpredictable and dangerous. We urge the public to check conditions before going out and to look for ocean hazards, such as rip currents, rocks and shore breaks,” he said.

“If in doubt, don’t go out and only undertake ocean activities where a lifeguard is present. Please pay attention to any warning signs in the area and any media information on current weather and ocean forecasts.”
Source: The Garden Island

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