Ka‘u drowning victim identified

KAILUA-KONA — Hawaii Island police have identified the man who apparently drowned earlier this month after he did not return to shore after a swim with friends July 13 at Green Sands Beach, also known as Papakolea.

The man was identified as 23-year-old Charles Senechal, of Bellingham, Massachusetts, according to the Hawaii Police Department. Police said they identified Senechal by using dental records.

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At 5:56 p.m. July 13, friends of the victim called 911 to report that Senechal did not return to shore after their group of seven went swimming at Green Sands Beach, police said Friday. None of the others in the group were injured.

Hawaii Fire Department personnel and a helicopter responded to the scene and started a search. They were later joined by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter and cutter that assisted with the search through July 15.

At 9:43 a.m. July 15, recreational divers found the victim approximately 200 yards offshore of Green Sands Beach and in about 50 feet of water. He was extricated from the ocean by HFD personnel before being taken to the Hilo Medical Center, where the official pronouncement of death was made at 2:36 p.m.

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No foul play is suspected, and preliminary autopsy results determined the cause of death to be drowning.

Anyone who may have information about this incident is asked to call the department’s nonemergency line at 935-3311 or Officer Douglas Phillips 939-2520.

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