Man drowns off Waiohai Beach

POIPU — A 66-year-old man died of an apparent drowning off Waiohai Beach in Poipu Wednesday afternoon.

Police have identified the victim as Philip L. Huffman of San Rafael, California.

Lifeguards at the Poipu Beach tower were notified of a swimmer in distress about 1:50 p.m.

According to a preliminary report, the man was snorkeling in waters fronting Poipu Beach when the current pulled him toward Waiohai Beach. He became distressed while attempting to swim back to shore.

A lifeguard swam out to the victim and brought him to shore and began performing CPR on the unresponsive man. Firefighters and medics soon arrived to the scene to assist and medics transported the victim to Wilcox Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

An autopsy is pending.

This is Kauai’s first drowning of 2017.

Ocean Safety officials are warning beachgoers about a strong rip current that is occurring off Nukumoi Point, fronting Poipu Beach.

“A very strong and hazardous rip current has formed as a result of an eroding tombolo, or sand bar, that exists off Poipu Beach,” said Kalani Vierra, Ocean Safety Bureau director. “Warning signs are posted along the shoreline to alert the public, and Poipu lifeguards are prohibiting swimming in this area until conditions improve.”

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