Man drowns off Nukoli’i beach

In rough surf and under cloudy skies, a visitor in his 50s died Saturday afternoon after he either tried to rescue his teenage son or got caught in the current while swimming in waters fronting the Radisson Hotel in east Kaua’i. The area is generally known as Nukoli’i

The man, whose identity was not immediately released, was presumed to have drowned and was pronounced dead by emergency response personnel at the beach Saturday afternoon.

The man’s son, whose identity also was not released, was transported by American Medical Response personnel to the emergency room at Wilcox Hospital. His condition is not known.

Witnesses said one of the visitors got in trouble while swimming offshore before 1 p.m. and the other went into the water to try to rescue the one in trouble, according to Kaua’i Fire Department acting battalion chief Teddy Williams.

Firefighters and rescue personnel from the Lihu’e fire station arrived at the scene and rescuers used a surfboard and rescue tubes to bring the father and son to shore, Williams said.

Fire personnel and paramedics performed cardiovascular pulmonary resuscitation on the father and son, Williams said.

Williams said emergency personnel arrived at the beach after someone called the 9-1-1 emergency line at 12:57 p.m.

There have been four confirmed ocean drownings this year, a marked decline in drownings from previous years when nearly a dozen drownings were recorded yearly for a while.

The decline in the number of drownings has been attributed the hiring of additional county lifeguards and creation of additional count lifeguard stations. The proactive water safety program was a priority goal of former Mayor Maryanne Kusaka and a county water safety task force, and supported with funding appropriated by the County Council. The county has also bought more rescue equipment and to stepped up its lifeguard training program.

Staff writer Lester Chang can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 225) and


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