Mother dies, two boys still missing

A female visitor who struggled to save her sons who were in trouble in ocean waters of Anahola Bay Saturday died at Wilcox Memorial Hospital yesterday.

One of her sons, 9, is still missing, as is John “J.J.” Dacuycuy, 17, a Kapa‘a High School senior who got into trouble in the ocean near Wailua Golf Course, also on Saturday.

Yesterday was also the day when Kapa‘a High School friends of Dacuycuy gathered on the beach at Nukoli‘i for a vigil, with some rear windshields reading “R.I.P. John.”

Also yesterday, Kaua‘i Fire Department leaders officially declared search efforts for the two boys had moved from “active” to “passive.”

Following intensive water and shoreline searches from Saturday to yesterday for the missing 9-year-old Colorado visitor at Anahola Bay and for Dacuycuy in the Nukoli‘i area, KFD officials have decided to transition from an active search to a passive one.

“If something should come up to indicate that we need to go back, we certainly will,” said KFD Fire Chief Robert “Bob” Westerman in a press release.

The name of the missing visitor has not been released.

County officials in a press release said Jennifer White, the mother of the missing boy, died at Wilcox Memorial Hospital yesterday morning. The family is from Gunnison, Colo.

Kaua‘i Fire Department personnel began their search for Dacuycuy yesterday at Nukoli‘i. Two scuba divers were in the water, along with two rescue specialists on personal watercraft, while KFD Ocean Safety Bureau lifeguards did a shoreline search.

The water rescuers at Nukoli‘i ended their search at about noon. According to Westerman, strong onshore winds created extremely hazardous conditions.

The ocean was very turbulent, with turning sand and poor visibility, said Westerman.

The water rescuers moved on to Anahola in the afternoon, where they resumed their search for the 9-year-old son of White.

In other news about the searches, the remains that were found Sunday morning at Nukoli‘i have not been identified as either animal or human yet, said county spokeswoman Mary Daubert.

The remains were taken to Wilcox Memorial Hospital for testing Sunday.

The searches started after the visitor and Dacuycuy were caught up in choppy seas associated with strong tradewinds, and in 6- to 8-foot swells on Kaua‘i’s East Side Saturday.

The young Colorado visitor was swimming with his younger brother at Anahola Bay when they got caught up in strong currents.

Their mother, White, 32, and a bystander, were able to rescue the younger boy, but when White tried to go back for her younger son, she ran into trouble fighting the currents.

The same bystander went out to rescue the woman, who was unresponsive when she was brought out of the water, and was taken to Wilcox Memorial Hospital.

The search for Dacuycuy started after he went under the water off Marine Camp, an area located between Wailua Golf Course and the Kauai Beach Hotel & Resort.

Two swimmers were able to get to Dacuycuy, but he was torn from their hold and disappeared.

All three of the boys are Kapa‘a High School students. The other two boys have not been identified, and neither has the good Samaritan of Anahola.

• Cynthia Kaneshiro, staff writer, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 252) or


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