Visitor dies off waters of Kauapea Beach

Published on July 09, 2024

KPD logo news release

LĪHU‘E – A visitor died early Tuesday morning after being pulled from waters at Kauapea Beach, also known as Secret Beach in Kīlauea, Monday afternoon.

On Monday, Jul. 8, at approximately 1:47 p.m., first responders were dispatched to Kauapea Beach for an unresponsive swimmer. Bystanders administered CPR until medics arrived and took over advanced resuscitation efforts. Personnel with the Hanalei Fire Station arrived on scene and continued resuscitation efforts on the swimmer. Firefighters later accompanied the patient from the beach to American Medical Response responders, who took the operation and provided advanced life support. The victim was transported to the Wilcox Memorial Hospital and pronounced dead on Tuesday, Jul. 9.

The victim has been identified as a 23-year-old male visitor from Maryland.

An autopsy is pending to determine the exact cause of death, but foul play is not suspected.

Kauapea Beach is not a lifeguarded beach and the public is urged to use caution if getting in the water. However, officials strongly recommended only swimming at beaches that have lifeguards.

"We extend our deepest condolences to the victim’s loved ones during this incredibly difficult time. This tragic loss reminds us of the potential dangers posed by our island's waters,” said Criminal Investigations Division Lieutenant Anthony Morita. “We urge all visitors and residents alike to exercise caution and be aware of the ocean's unpredictable nature. Please heed all posted warnings and take necessary precautions to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you.”

For more safety tips from the Ocean Safety Bureau, please visit



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