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Diver dies in apparent drowning off South Point

An Ocean View man died after getting into distress while scuba diving Tuesday afternoon at South Point, Hawaii County police said.

Police said they are investigating it as a public accident, and said it appears to be a possible drowning case.

Police identified the victim as Gordon Kimo Lopes, 49, of Ocean View.

Kau patrol officers responded to the reported drowning at 7:15 p.m. A 47-year-old Ocean View man told police he had been on shore while a friend was scuba-diving for fish fronting the lighthouse at South Point. The diver entered the water around 6:45 p.m. About a half-hour later, his friend heard him yelling for help and called 911.

Rough seas prevented the first rescue personnel from entering the water, police said. A rescue boat from Keauhou arrived about 11 p.m. and firefighters used it to retrieve Lopes’ body. Lopes was was taken to Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 2:59 a.m. Wednesday.

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