PAUKAA, Hawaii: An opihi picker has drowned and another was rescued shortly after noon on Wednesday, report the Hawaii County Fire Department.
A 911 call summoned fire and rescue crews to the ocean off Paukaa Drive, where personnel found an opihi picker treading water 50 yards offshore.
The picker was airlifted from the ocean by Chopper One, but not before he directed crews to where the second opihi picker was last seen.
The body of the second picker was later found, airlifted out of the water, and was transported to Hilo Medical Center. Fire officials say the second picker was later pronounced dead.
POLICE UPDATE: The man who died has been identified as 20-year-old Brystan Alidon of Hilo.
On Wednesday, South Hilo patrol officers responded to a 12:43 p.m. report of a swimmer in distress off shore at Pauka’a. Fire Department personnel also responded and were able to retrieve Alidon’s body. He was officially pronounced dead at 2 p.m. at Hilo Medical Center.
An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.