Boy, 14, Drowns in Wailuku River 06-13-01

HAWAII COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT
SOUTH HILO PATROL DIVISION
LIEUTENANT CHAD FUKUI
PHONE: 961-2213
JUNE 13, 2001
G-70602

MEDIA RELEASE

A Puna male juvenile died Wednesday afternoon (June 13, 2001) as a result of a drowning incident that occurred at the Wailuku River in Hilo, near the area of Wainaku Bridge.

The victim was identified as Aaron James Luhia-Ogata, 14, of Hawaiian Paradise Park, Keaau.

Responding to a 2:13 p.m. call, police learned that Luhia-Ogata and another juvenile male were swimming in the Wailuku River when Luhia-Ogata experience some difficulty with the undertow currents. His companion left the area and summoned help. Upon police arrival, Luhia-Ogata could not be observed. Fire Department rescue personnel arrived shortly thereafter and attempted to locate the victim using the rescue helicopter and a diving team.

At 2:45 p.m., fire rescue personnel located the victim, who was apparently swept by the current and was lodged under a rock ledge. The victim was then extracted from the water by helicopter and transferred to a rescue van and transported to the Hilo Medical Center emergency room. The victim did not respond to emergency resuscitative attempts and was pronounced dead at 3:31 p.m.

Police have initiated a public accident case and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

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