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11-22-21 Police Investigate Possible Drowning Incident in Puna

Hawai’i Police Department
Puna District, Area I
Captain Scott Amaral
Phone: (808) 935-3311
Report No. 21-098711

Media Release

Hawai’i Island police are investigating the possible drowning of a 36-year-old Puna man who was diving with a family member in waters off Maku’u Point, in the Hawaiian Paradise Park Subdivision.

At 4:20 p.m., Sunday, (November 21), police and fire department personnel responded to a call of two adult male divers in distress in the waters off Maku’u Point. It was learned that the divers had begun spear fishing at approximately 4:00 p.m., and twenty minutes later one of the divers began struggling in the water. The other diver attempted to assist him, but due to the high surf, was unable to do so. 

Hawai’i Fire Department personnel were able to rescue one diver, a 38-year-old male, who did not sustain injuries and refused medical attention. They then located the body of the 36-year-old male floating face down and unresponsive shortly thereafter.

Hawai’i Fire Department medics began cardio-pulmonary resuscitation on the unresponsive male and transported him to Hilo Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 5:09 p.m. He was positively identified as 36-year-old Donald Gonzalez of Orchidland.    

Police have initiated a coroner’s inquest investigation relative to this incident and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.