Na`alehu Man Drowns at Kahakahakea Point

A 54-year-old Na`alehu man has been identified as the victim of drowning off of Kahakahakea Point in Kaʻū on Wednesday afternoon.

Police are investigating the accidental death of Duane A. Breithaupt of Na`alehu after he fell into the ocean water while picking opihi.

According to authorities, Breithaupt was with about ten family members near the ocean but was alone picking the opihi from the cliff area.

Family members reported that at about 12:44 p.m. a large wave swept him into the ocean, where he struggled before disappearing.

Emergency personnel that included HFD Chopper One arrived at the scene and his body was located about four to five miles offshore. Breithaupt was taken to the Kaʻū Hospital where he was pronounced dead at about 3:42 p.m.

Police say the area is accessed by four-wheel drive and by traveling on foot to the location. The area is a two to three hour travel off of the main portion of the roadway.

Police are continuing the investigation which is being classified as a Public Accident.

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