Teen victim of apparent drowning in waters off Puna; brother, 14, remains missing

Hawaii Island police are investigating the possible drowning of a 16-year-old boy and his missing 14-year-old brother in waters off Shipman/Haena Beach in Puna.

At 3:20 p.m. Thursday Puna Patrol officers along with Hawaii Fire Department personnel responded to the Shipman/Haena Beach for a report of multiple swimmers in distress.


Upon arrival, they learned that several adults and the two boys were swimming when they were swept out by the current and high surf. The adults and the 16-year-old were extricated from the water by the fire department’s helicopter. The 14-year-old has not yet been located.

Hawaii Fire Department medics immediately began cardio-pulmonary resuscitation on the 16-year-old and continued CPR while transporting him to the Hilo Medical Center. Life-saving measures continued at the hospital, however, he was pronounced dead at 4:51 p.m.

Police have initiated a coroner’s inquest investigation for the 16-year-old victim. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

A missing person case has been initiated for the 14-year-old boy. The Hawaii Fire Department and the United States Coast Guard searched the area until nightfall. The fire department will resume its search at daybreak.

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