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Surfer dies in apparent drowning at Puna

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 7:05 a.m. HST, May 11, 2012

A Keaau man died Thurday in an apparent drowning while surfing at the "Birdshacks" surf spot at Pohoiki Beach in lower Puna, the Hawaii County fire department said.

Police identified the man as Nathan Keliikuli, 42.

Lifeguards saw the man, who was surfing, fall off his board and fail to surface about 10 a.m., officials said. Police said Keliikuli reportedly fell and hit his jaw on his surfboard.

Lifeguards brought the man to shore and started CPR. Firefighters continued CPR and took the man to Hilo Medical Center in critical condition. He was pronounced dead at 11:13 a.m.

Police have ordered an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

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