HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Honolulu Emergency Medical Services said they responded to a 911 call at 10:27 a.m. on Thursday, June 1.
The call was for a situation at Electric Beach in Nānākuli.
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According to EMS, they discovered a 49-year-old male in critical condition.
EMS said that emergency personnel provided advanced lifesaving support on the patient who was found unresponsive in the ocean.
Emergency personnel said that bystanders pulled the man out of the water to perform CPR until first responders could arrive.
Officials have confirmed that the 49-year-old man died on Thursday.
A witness said the victim and his wife were snorkeling when the man ran into trouble and was brought to shore.
While the wife was watching, bystanders did CPR on her husband. Witnesses said she discovered their backpack and rental car were stolen.
Police confirm they are investigating a second-degree theft and auto theft related to the incident.
In the face of this terrible tragedy, KHON2 was able to talk some of the people involved.
What was likely meant to be an exciting adventure snorkeling at the popular Electric Beach on the West side of Oʻahu, ended up being a nightmare for a couple celebrating their honeymoon.
A witness who was there said they just finished diving when they saw the man lying on the sand as someone performed CPR.
The witness asked to remain anonymous. They approached the group of people standing around the man to try to help.
“That’s when I met the wife and learned that they were– they were there on their honeymoon, just the two of them,” said the witness.
According to the witness, the husband and his wife had snorkeling gear on.
The witness also offered to help the wife call family so she wouldn’t be alone. So, they asked the wife where her phone was.
According to the witness, the wife of the victim told her that they had left their belongings a little farther up the beach near a grassy area; but when a bystander went to grab for her their backpack, it was gone.
“As if the tragedy itself wasn’t difficult enough, now she has to go through the logistics of — because she can’t travel back to home without an ID — she has to go through the due process at the airport to verify. It’s a mess on top of everything,” said the witness.
To make things even worse, the keys to their rental car were also in that backpack. The thieves stole the car, too.
“I’m still kind of shaky inside just thinking. Oh my God. They’re honeymooners. It’s supposed to be happy. And for their stuff to get stolen,” said Rhonda Aquino a Waipahu resident. “I feel so sad inside like cannot believe still.”
Rhonda Aquino grew up going to Electric Beach and said it can be dangerous if you’re not familiar with the area.
“The current gets strong here,” said Aquino. “And this is like a tourist place where all the tourists like to come and snorkel.”
She also said that she hopes they add a lifeguard stand here to prevent anymore drownings since the area is gaining popularity on social media.
Aquino also said she hopes someone returns what they stole.
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KHON2 spoke with City Councilmember Andrea Tupola who said the City will be adding a lifeguard stand and the necessary staffing to the area in early September.