Woman dies after being pulled from waters near ‘Spitting Caves’

Photo courtesy: Kathy Gunderson.

A Sunday afternoon turned tragic at a popular spot in East Oahu.

Emergency officials responded to a swimmer in distress at “Spitting Caves” just before 2 p.m.

“A female in the water that had difficulty in the water. Two of her friends went in to try to assist her and unfortunately, they weren’t able to help her enough,” said Rick Mauer, acting battalion chief with the Honolulu Fire Department.

Ocean Safety crews responded and brought the 22-year-old woman to Maunalua Bay.

“We saw the lifeguards come and bring the lady into the curbside over here and they tried to revive her,” said witness Kathy Gunderson. “Everybody tried their best to help her as much as they could because there was lots of fire department, everybody, the paramedics.”

Paramedics were unable to revive the woman. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Honolulu Medical Examiner identified the woman as Shannon Nunez of Kaneohe. The U.S. Navy confirmed she was a sailor from Patrol Squadron (VP) 4 based at Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe.

KHON2 spoke to the victim’s friends off camera. They say they’re still devastated.

“They were already in tears ’cause the whole group of friends went running to the ambulance, and you could tell they were in shock and in tears at the same time,” Gunderson said.

The Honolulu Fire Department is encouraging others to use caution and to know your limits.

“Please be careful everybody. It’s not worth it to risk your life to do something like that. Please be careful,” Mauer said.

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