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drowned Water claims fifth victim in 2013

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Posted: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 12:45 am | Updated: 4:59 pm, Wed Feb 6, 2013.

WAINIHA — A 51-year-old male Canadian visitor from Sechelt, British Columbia, drowned in waters off Wainiha on Kaua‘i’s North Shore Tuesday afternoon, according to a county press release.

County officials said this is the first fresh water drowning to occur so far this year and the third drowning in less than a week.

“Our hearts go out to the families of all of the victims,” Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. said in the release. “Our community remains steadfast in our commitment to keeping our residents and visitors safe while enjoying all of what Kaua‘i has to offer.”

Carvalho said the administration will continue to work with first responders, visitor industry partners and all members of the community to educate the public on the potential hazards in nature and how to avoid them.

A bystander called Police Dispatch at 4:26 p.m. after noticing the man’s body lying face down in the Wainiha River, fronting a vacation rental near the Wainiha General Store.

Firefighters from the Kaiakea fire station responded to the scene and immediately began performing CPR on the man until Medics arrived and transported him to Wilcox Memorial Hospital in Lihu‘e, where he was pronounced dead.

Police have not yet released the man’s identity.

While there are no current ocean warnings posted for the County of Kaua‘i, rescue officials continue to urge beachgoers to check www.kauaiexplorer.com for updates on ocean conditions.

In 2012, there were two lives claimed by the ocean — one in January and one in July — an unusual low number for Hawai‘i, and two fresh water drownings.

In 2011, there were 12 lives lost to drownings on Kaua‘i.

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