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Diver dies in apparent drowning off South Point

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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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