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Man who drowned trying to save woman at Waimea Falls ID'd

By Gregg K. Kakesako

LAST UPDATED: 1:33 a.m. HST, May 21, 2013

A vacationing U.S. Border Patrol agent died Sunday attempting to save a woman in distress in a pool at Waimea Falls.

The Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the man as Kris Gungon, 31, of Imperial, Calif.

Other people in the area rescued the woman, fire Capt. Gary Lum said.

The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol in San Diego said Gungon has been an agent since 2009. He was assigned to to the El Centro Patrol Station. 

He and his wife were and other family members were vacationing in the islands.

An autopsy will be performed Monday to determine the cause of death.

Authorities said a woman was in distress in the pond beneath the falls and that Gungon went in to help her. He never resurfaced. Lum said fire rescue and lifeguards participated in the search. He said the body was found about 25 feet below the surface of the pond at 5:20 p.m.

His department received a call about the missing man from emergency services at 4:12 p.m. Sunday.

Police have classified the case as an unattended death.

Gungon was visiting here with his family, which is being helped by the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii. The visitor aide service also said it has offered its assistance to Gungon’s parents in San Diego. Imperial is near the U.S.-Mexico border.

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