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Keaau woman, 29, dies after slip from cliffs into ocean

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A 29-year-old Keaau woman has died in an apparent drowning after slipping and falling into the ocean Sunday, according to Hawaii island police.

According to police, Puna patrol officers responded to a call just before 2 a.m. Sunday for a woman who had slipped and fallen into the ocean off the shoreline cliffs near Paradise Drive and Beach Road in Keaau. The Hawaii Fire Department also responded.

According to police, a 31-year-old Keaau man who was with the woman reported trying to rescue her by throwing out a flotation device, but that the woman was pulled out by the ocean’s currents.

HFD and the U.S. Coast Guard conducted an aerial search and at 8 a.m. found her unresponsive body about four miles down the shore near Honolulu Landing in Pahoa.

She was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead just before 11 a.m.

Police have initiated a coroner’s inquest investigation and an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death. Foul play is not suspected at this time.

The woman’s identity is being withheld pending notification of next of kin, police said.

Anyone who may have information on this case should contact Detective Paul Mangus of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at 808-961-2383 or at paul.mangus@hawaiicounty.gov.

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