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UPDATE: Freediver drowns in accident near Lapakahi State Park

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At 2:51 p.m. Monday, Jan. 26, 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.

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


Fire/Rescue personnel responded to a 2:45 p.m. alarm Monday, Jan 26 for a missing freediver 200-300 yards off-shore just south of Lapakahi State Park in North Kohala. Two Fire Department helicopters, a rescue boat and personnel on shore were dispatched. Fire/Rescue crews found the diver who had failed to surface. The identity of the victim has not been released pending family notification.

2 Responses to “UPDATE: Freediver drowns in accident near Lapakahi State Park”

  1. Marky says:

    Oh Michael…………one last dive! Love, Aunt Marky

  2. Trinidad A. Williams says:

    I’m so sorry to hear of this happening – for free diving is the most natural way to fish ~ few do this way. My heartfelt condolences’ to his ohana and friends.


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