Man dies of apparent drowning, beachgoers warned of rip current off Poipu

Photo: County of Kauai
Photo: County of Kauai

Due to dangerous ocean conditions, swimming is prohibited in waters off Poipu Beach until further notice, Kauai officials said.

That’s after a 66-year-old man died of an apparent drowning Wednesday afternoon.

Kauai police identified him as Philip L. Huffman of San Rafael, Calif.

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.

Lifeguards were notified at approximately 1:50 p.m. A lifeguard swam out to the victim and brought him to shore and began performing CPR on the unresponsive man.

Medics transported Huffman to Wilcox Memorial Center, where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy is pending.

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 Ocean Safety supervisor Kalani Vierra. “Warning signs are posted along the shoreline to alert the public, and Poipu lifeguards are prohibiting swimming in this area until conditions improve.”

This is Kauai’s first drowning of 2017.

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