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North Kohala diver 01-27-09

Hawaii Police Department
North Kohala District
Captain Richard Miyamoto
Phone: 889-6540
January 27, 2009
Report No. C09002718

Media Release

At 2:51 p.m. Monday (January 26) Hawaii Fire Department personnel responded to a report of a diver in distress just South of Lapakahi State Historical Park in North Kohala.

The victim, identified as 23-year-old Michael Morriss, of Kamuela, was "Free Diving" from a boat with two friends approximately 200 yards off shore outside Lapakahi Park when the dive partners lost sight of him. After a five-minute search, Morriss was located in about 80 feet of water on the bottom.

Initial attempts by his partners to retrieve him from the bottom were unsuccessful due to the depth of the water. Fire/Rescue personnel using SCUBA tanks were able to retrieve Morris from the bottom and perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation while taking him to Kawaihae harbor. All attempts to revive the victim failed and he was pronounced dead upon arrival at the harbor.

Hawaii Police Department personnel are continuing the investigation. An autopsy is being requested to determine the exact cause of death.