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California woman dies while snorkeling at Puako


A 69-year-old woman died Monday (June 21) from an apparent drowning in waters along the South Kohala Coast. The victim, who was vacationing with family on the Big Island, has been identified as a Gloria Graf of Glendale, California.

Graf was snorkeling with her husband in waters off the public access to the beach by Lot #75 in Puakō when she began feeling ill and wanted to return to shore. Her husband noted that she appeared disoriented and then saw her go under water. He was able to bring her to shore, begin resuscitation efforts and notify the Hawai’i Fire Department.

Graf was taken to North Hawai’i Community Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at about 6:18 p.m.

Police have classified the investigation as a coroner’s inquest and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

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