A 22-year-old man who died at Spitting Cave on Wednesday has been identified as Matthew R. Forero-Pinilla, according to the Honolulu Medical Examiner’s Office.
Forero-Pinilla drowned after he jumped into the ocean from a cliff in Portlock. The medical examiner’s office classified the manner of his death as an accident.
In the wake of his death, ocean safety officials strongly urged the public to refrain from jumping or entering the water at Spitting Cave as well as China Walls located in proximity to Spitting Cave.
Forero-Pinilla moved to Honolulu from Miami two years ago, according to a family friend.
Honolulu firefighters responded to a report of a swimmer in distress at Spitting Cave at 6:29 a.m. They learned a man later identified as Forero-Pinilla had jumped into the ocean, resurfaced and then went underwater again without returning.
Firefighters spotted him in the ocean at a depth of approximately 60 feet and tried to free-drive to retrieve him but were unsuccessful.
An HFD rescue boat arrived with a scuba driver and retrieved Forero-Pinilla. As he was transported in the boat to Maunalua Bay Beach Park, crews administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation and a defibrillator shock.
Emergency Medical Services took over and continued live-saving treatment. He was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
A family friend, who declined to have her name published, said it was Forero-Pinilla’s dream to live in Hawaii because he loved nature and being outdoors.
“He was always very charming, very adventurous. He was always a friend to everybody,” she said. “He had an electric smile. He was just kind, sweet.”
A GoFundMe campaign has been created on behalf of the Forero-Pinilla family to assist with expenses, primarily costs to bring him back to Miami where his family resides.