1 diver drowns, 2 others rescued in Mokuleia | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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1 diver drowns, 2 others rescued in Mokuleia

The Honolulu Medical Examiner’s Office identified John Matapua, 45, as the man who died Friday night while diving off Mokuleia on Oahu’s North Shore.

Matapua died following a search-and-rescue operation for divers in distress offshore Farrington Highway near Dillingham Air Field.

At 9 p.m. Friday, Honolulu firefighters responded with five units staffed with 16 personnel to a call of three divers who had gotten in trouble while diving.

Two divers swam to shore, but Matapua was reported missing. The identities of the other divers have not been released.

Honolulu Fire Department personnel on rescue boards could not locate Matapua at the location he was last seen, said Capt. Scot Seguirant.

The rescue team returned to shore. An Air-1 helicopter located Matapua, who was found unresponsive underwater approximately 40 yards offshore, Seguirant said.

The rescue team brought Matapua to shore at 10:25 p.m. He was pronounced dead at 10:36 p.m.

The medical examiner has not yet released Matapua’s cause of death, which is still pending.

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