Hawaii island police seeking more information on Kona boating death
June 17, 2018 | 78° | Check Traffic

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Hawaii island police seeking more information on Kona boating death

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Hawaii island police are investigating an incident involving a boat that ran aground that resulted in one death in Kailua-Kona on Saturday evening.

At about 8 p.m. Saturday, the Hawaii County Fire Department received an emergency call regarding a boat that had crashed into a cliff along the shoreline fronting the Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport. Based on information provided at the time, there were two occupants aboard the vessel. One was responsive, and the other was not.

At the scene, firefighters found an unresponsive male in the ocean fronting the airport. Paramedics were not able to revive the man, and he was taken to Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He has been identified as Benjamin Charles Keely, 29, of Hawaiian Acres.

The second occupant of the boat was identified as 48-year-old Gary Witt, 48, of Hawaiian Ocean View Estates. He suffered non-life threatening injuries and is currently listed in stable condition at Kona Community Hospital.

An autopsy to determine Keely’s cause of death has been scheduled for Wednesday.

Detectives with the Area II Criminal Investigation Section, working in collaboration with the Department of Land and Natural Resources, ask anyone with information to contact Detective David Matsushima at 326-4646 ext. 224 or David.Matsushima@hawaiicounty.gov.

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