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California man drowns at Kipu Falls

KIPU — A 35-year-old male visitor from Irvine, Calif., drowned Sunday afternoon at Kipu Falls, county officials said.

According to witnesses, the man had jumped off the top off the falls into the pool below at about 2:05 p.m.

He was swimming toward the shore when he went underwater and did not resurface, a county news release states.

Firefighters and rescue specialists responded to the scene and recovered the body from the bottom of the pool at about 3:05 p.m.

His name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin, the release states.

This is at least the fifth visitor to drown like this since December 2006.

In December 2010, a 26-year-old O‘ahu man jumped off Kipu Falls and was attempting to swim back to the edge of the pond when he went underwater and did not resurface. He was found at the bottom of the pond hours later after emergency personnel were called to help in the search.

In December 2009, a 48-year-old male visitor from Apple Valley, Calif., drowned after jumping off the falls with his son. The two surfaced and the man escorted his son to a nearby rock. The man then began swimming toward the side of the falls when about halfway there he went underwater and didn’t come back up. Scuba divers eventually found his body at the bottom of the pool.

In February 2008, a 30-year-old visitor from Philadelphia drowned. He had jumped off the falls and surfaced, seemingly OK, when shortly thereafter he went under water. Rescue specialists later found his body at the bottom of the pond.

In December 2006, a 25-year-old Chicago man died after jumping off the falls. His lifeless body was pulled out of the water just before emergency crews arrived at the scene.

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