(BIVN) – A Colorado man apparently drowned in the water off Kona on Tuesday, as high surf created dangerous conditions along the West Hawaiʻi shore.
Police identified the victim as 53-year-old Jeffrey Jewers, of Aurora, Colorado.
At the time the incident occurred, Kona beaches were under a High Surf Advisory due to a large, northwest swell affecting west-facing shores of Hawaiʻi island.
From the Hawaiʻi Police Department:
On Tuesday at 5:29 p.m., officers responded to a report of a distressed swimmer in the 75-6000 block of Ali‘i Drive. Upon arrival, officers learned that Jewers was walking along a rocky area the shoreline when a large wave struck him. The force of the wave knocked Jewers down onto the rocks, where he was subsequently pulled into the ocean. Witnesses saw Jewers attempting to climb out of the ocean when he was struck by a second large wave, pulling him away from the shoreline.
Jewers was last observed in the water a 1/2 mile offshore. Responding Hawai‘i Fire Department personnel were able to locate Jewers, who appeared lifeless. He was taken to the Kona Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 6:40 p.m.
Police have initiated a coroner’s inquest investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.
Police ask anyone who may have witnessed this incident to contact Officer Mara Gaertner of Kona Patrol at (808) 326-4646, ext. 253, or e-mail Mara.Gaertner@Hawaiicounty.gov.
The National Weather Service says it expects High Surf Advisory conditions to hold Wednesday, then lower tonight through Thursday as this swell slowly eases and shifts out of the north.