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Big Island man dies in boating crash

HONOLULU (KHON2) - Big Island police are investigating an incident involving a boat that ran aground, killing a man.

According to police, the Hawaii County Fire Department received an emergency call at 8:00 p.m. Saturday, regarding a boat that had collided into a cliff along the shoreline fronting the Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport. The information provided indicated there were two people onboard the vessel, one of whom was shaken but responsive. The other person was unresponsive.

Fire personnel responded to the scene and located an unresponsive male in the ocean waters fronting the airport. Medics performed CPR, but he was not able to be revived. He was taken to the Kona Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The decedent has been positively identified as 29-year-old Benjamin Charles Keely, of Hawaiian Acres. An autopsy to determine Keely's cause of death has been scheduled for Wednesday, June 13.

The second occupant of the vessel has been identified as 48-year-old Gary Witt, of Hawaiian Ocean View Estates. He suffered non-life threatening injuries and is currently receiving medical treatment at the Kona Community Hospital where he is listed in stable condition.

Detectives with the Area II Criminal Investigation Section, working in collaboration with the Department of Land and Natural Resources, are continuing this investigation and ask anyone with information or who may have witnessed this incident to contact Detective David Matsushima, via email at David.Matsushima@hawaiicounty.gov, or at (808) 326-4646 ext. 224.


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