UPDATE – 2:30 p.m. Thursday – Hawaii County Police have identified the 41-year-old man who apparently drowned in the Wailuku River on Wednesday as Alejandro Barrios Sr. of Orange, California.
Police have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death. The case is classified as a coroner’s inquest.
HILO, Hawaii – A man drowned in the Upper Wailuku River on Wednesday, fire officials say.
Just before 4 p.m., first responders arrived at an area known locally as “Narnia”, where they found three people on the river bank who told them a family member jumped into the water and had difficulty swimming.
The family said they jumped in to save him, but were unsuccessful with holding onto him.
A Hawaii County Fire Department says a team member used a chainsaw to cut a path through fallen trees for easier access to the river, and Chopper 1 provided aerial support.
Two Fire Rescue Specialists conducted a free dive search and found the victim in approximately 30 feet of water on the river bottom.
We will have more information when it becomes available.