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Naalehu Opihi picker drowns after falling into ocean


A 54-year-old Nāʻālehu man is the victim of drowning off of Kahakahakea Point in Kaʻū, on (March 21).

Police are investigating the accidental death of Duane A. Breithaupt of Nāʻālehu after he fell into the ocean water while picking opihi. He was with about ten family members near the ocean but was alone picking the opihi from the cliff area. Family members reported at about 12:44 p.m., a large wave swept him into the ocean, where he struggled before disappearing.

Emergency personnel that included HFD Chopper One arrived at the scene, and his body was located about 4 to 5 miles offshore. He was taken to the Kaʻū Hospital where he was pronounced dead at about 3:42 p.m.

The area is accessed by four-wheel drive and traveling on foot to the location. The area is about 2-to 3-hour travel off of the main portion of the roadway.

Police are continuing the investigation which is being classified as a Public Accident.

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