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Paddler dies after canoe overturns off Keauhou

A 67-year-old Keauhou man died after a canoe he was in flipped over off Keauhou Wednesday morning, Hawaii County officials said.

The fire department said a double-hull canoe with 10 people aboard overturned in Heeia Bay fronting Manukai Street shortly before 7 a.m. Firefighters found three people on shore.

Enlisting the help of a tour zodiac boat, fire rescue personnel went to the canoe, which was overturned outside the surf break. Six people were holding on to the canoe and a man was floating face-down in the water, the fire department said.

All 10 paddlers from the canoe were back on shore by 7:45 a.m., police said.

One of the paddlers was non-responsive at the scene, police said. He was taken by ambulance to Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 7:58 a.m. His identity is being held pending notification of his family.

The fire department listed high surf as the cause of the incident. A high surf advisory had been in effect overnight for north- and west-facing shores of all islands.

Police ordered an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

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