Visitor from California believed to have been swept away in Wailuku River
Hilo, Hawaii – Video by Baron Sekiya, Hawaii247.org
Hawaii County Police continue to search up and down the Wailuku River for 24 year old Ryan J. Ritzel, who was last seen swimming at Boiling Pots.
Ritzel is an employee of the visiting Pride of America cruise ship, and was swimming at the location with 5 co-workers. Police say the co-workers called 911 when they discovered Ritzel was missing.
Ritzel is described as Caucasian, 5-foot-9, with a slim build, short brown hair and blue eyes. He was wearing white and blue swimming trunks. No itmes belonging to Ritzel have been recovered.
Fire Department personnel have been searching the area but have been unable to locate him. Helicopters have been deployed to assist in the operation.
Boiling Pots sits at the base of Peepee Falls, and flows downhill to eventually feed the more famous Rainbow Falls before entering the ocean. Boiling Pots gets its name from the way the tiered river ponds seem to boil when the water gets churning. The area is off limits to swimmers and can be extremely dangerous when heavy rains pass through Hilo.
Police ask that anyone with information on his whereabouts call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.