Police investigate possible double drowning in Ka‘u

Police are investigating a possible double-drowning that occurred late Friday evening in Kaʻu.

At 10:56 p.m. police, Hawaii Fire Department, and U.S. Coast Guard personnel responded to a report of a 42-year-old man who fell into the ocean while fishing along the remote shoreline at the end of the Road to the Sea.

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Bystanders and family members entered the water and attempted to rescue the victim. Both the victim and another 39-year-old man who entered the water to assist were subsequently swept further out into the ocean by the current. Three others who attempted the rescue made it safely back to shore.

At 3:24 a.m. on Saturday, Coast Guard helicopter personnel located both men unresponsive in the ocean. They were flown to the Milolii boat ramp before being taken to Kona Community Hospital, where they were pronounced dead at 7:05 a.m.

The victims were identified as 42-year-old Patrick Fuga of Holualoa and 39-year-old Petelo “Lo” Finau, of Kailua-Kona.

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Police have opened a coroner’s inquest and have ordered an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

Potential witnesses are asked to call the police non-emergency number at 935-3311, or Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

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