Opihi picker drowns in HPP

A man in his 50s was swept away in rough seas and drowned Tuesday while picking opihi off the Puna coastline, according to Hawaii Fire Department officials.

According to a written statement, seven units, including a county helicopter and a rescue boat responded to a 3:24 p.m. alarm to search for the missing man along the 20-foot-high sea cliffs off Beach Road in Hawaiian Paradise Park.

The search was suspended at 6:45 p.m. because of darkness, but at about 7 p.m., family and friends reported seeing a body in the water.

Two rescue swimmers were deployed and were able to recover the victim’s bod, which was transported by boat to the Wailoa Small Boat Harbor ramp in Hilo, where they were met by police.

The identity of the victim hasn’t been released.


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