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Drowing in Wailuku River Wednesday afternoon (Aug 10)

MEDIA RELEASE – POLICE UPDATE

A 41-year-old California man apparently drowned Wednesday (August 10) while swimming in the Wailuku River.

He has been identified as Alejandro Barrios Sr. of Orange, California.

In response to a 3:45 p.m. call reporting a drowning, South Hilo Patrol officers learned that Barrios has been swimming near the third waterfall of an area in the river accessible from the 2000 block of Waianuenue Avenue when he appeared to be in distress. His family attempted to assist him to shore but were unsuccessful and called 911.

Fire/rescue personnel located his lifeless body and extricated the man to shore with the use of a helicopter. Barrios was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where he was officially pronounced dead at 7:54 p.m.

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

By Hawaii 24/7 Staff

Fire/rescue crews responded to a 3:45 p.m. alarm Wednesday (Aug 10) to the Wailuku River in Kaumana for a drowning.

Crews arrived to an area in the Upper Wailuku River known to locals as ‘Narnia’ where they found three people on the river bank. The people said a family member had jumped into the water and had difficulty swimming. They jumped in to rescue him be were not able to hold onto him.

A firefighter cleared fallen trees using a chainsaw to allow other fire and police department members access to the area for a search. The fire department Chopper 1 did an aerial search while two rescue specialists performed free dives into the river and they found the victim in 30 feet of water on the river bottom.

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