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Double-hull canoe overturns off Keauhou, 67 year-old man dead

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Big Island police have initiated a coroner’s inquest case in connection with the death of a canoe paddler.

Kona Patrol officers responded to the Keauhou Pier at approximately 7 a.m. Wednesday (February 1) after receiving a report of an overturned double hull canoe.

When officers arrived, Coast Guard personnel were already on scene. All 10 paddlers from the canoe were back on shore by 7:45 a.m.

A 67-year-old Keauhou man who was non-responsive at the scene was transported by ambulance to Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 7:58 a.m. His identity is being held pending notification of his next of kin.

Police have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

UPDATE 2/1/12, 2 p.m.

By Hawaii 24/7 Staff

Sources tell Hawaii 24/7 that the overturned canoe was from the Keauhou Canoe Club and part of their Recreational Program which allows people to go out for non-race paddling.

The overturned double-hull canoe was found outside the surf break, three paddlers were able to get to shore before rescue crews arrived. Seven people were in the water with six holding onto the overturned canoe and the 67 year-old man floating face down.

Rescue personnel was assisted by a tour zodiac boat to get the man on board and start CPR who was then taken to Kona Community Medical Center via a medic unit. The remaining six paddlers were brought to shore.

The cause of the overturned canoe was attributed to high surf according to fire dispatch. A high surf advisory was in effect at the time for West Hawaii and remains in effect until 6 p.m. this evening.

UPDATE, 2/1/12, 4:15 p.m.

Hawaii 24/7 has learned the identity of the paddler who died Wednesday morning off Keauhou.

Charles ‘Tiko’ Collins, a retiree from Galletin, Tenn., was participating in a recreational paddle when the canoe apparently flipped.

He was a Keauhou Canoe Club member, but not a competitive racer, according to Hawaii 24/7’s source.

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