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Punalu’u Beach Park Drowning 10-18-08

Hawaii Police Department
Ka’u Patrol
Acting Sergeant Michael L. Duberstein
Phone: (808) 939-2520
October 18, 2008

Media Release

On October 18, 2008 at 11:50 a.m. Hawaii Fire Department personnel responded to a report of a swimmer in distress at Punalu’u Beach Park in Ka’u. According to witnesses the victim and his wife were snorkeling at the mouth of the bay when the two of them became separated in the high surf. A local resident recognized that the two were in distress, and about 100 yards off shore. Local residents attempted to provide assistance. While swimming out toward the victim, one of the local residents lost sight of him. The victim’s wife managed to swim back to the north side of the bay. Local residents and Hawaii fire Department personnel continued to search for the victim.

On October 18, 2008 at approximately 12:30 p.m. Hawaii Fire Department personnel located the victim, who was unconscious near the shore line, on the south end of the bay. The victim was removed from the water and CPR was started in an attempt to revive the victim. A Ka’u Hospital Doctor was present at the bay and accompanied the victim to Ka’u Hospital via Medic 11. All attempts to revive the victim failed and the victim was pronounced dead at Ka’u Hospital.

The investigation is continuing by Hawaii Police Department personnel. The victim has been identified as Edward R. MCCARTHY-SLAUGHTER, M-40 of Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey. The exact cause of death is unknown at this time. An autopsy is pending at Kona Hospital. Police have initiated a Coroners Inquest case.