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California woman drowns on Big Island

A 69-year-old woman from Southern California drowned while snorkeling with her family in South Kohala yesterday.

Big Island police identified the victim as Gloria Graf of Glendale, Calif. Graf was snorkeling with her husband in waters off the public access to the beach in Puako when she began feeling ill and wanted to return to shore. Her husband noticed that she appeared disoriented and then saw her go under water. He was able to bring her to shore, begin resuscitation efforts and called the fire department.

Graf was taken to North Hawaii Community Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at about 6:18 p.m.

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

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