Hawaiʻi Police Department
Captain Andrew Burian
Report No. C11033225
Big Island police are investigating a possible drowning at South Point on Tuesday afternoon (December 20).
The victim has been identified as 49-year-old Gordon Kimo Lopes of Ocean View.
Kaʻū patrol officers responded to the reported drowning at 7:15 p.m. A 47-year-old Ocean View man reported that he had been on shore while his friend was scuba diving for fish fronting the lighthouse at South Point. The scuba diver entered the water around 6:45 p.m. About a half-hour later, his friend heard him yelling for help and called 911.
When police and firefighters arrived, they were unable to locate the victim. Because of rough seas, firefighters could not enter the water. A rescue boat from Keauhou arrived around 11 p.m. and firefighters used it to locate and retrieve the victim’s body. Lopes was was taken to Kona Community Hospital, where he was officially pronounced dead at 2:59 a.m. Wednesday (December 21).
Police are investigating this case as a public accident.