Man dies after couple reportedly knocked into ocean while fishing

A man has died after he and a woman were reportedly knocked into the ocean while fishing Friday.

The man was identified by authorities as Matthew Mabida-Bridges, 30, of Honolulu.

It happened near The Kahala Hotel & Resort just before noon.

Witnesses say the couple grabbed some oama (baitfish), walked out onto the reef to fish in shallow waters. Officials say they got knocked into the water by a rogue wave.

“They walked out on that island, then they went in the water. They walk out on the reef trying to get to that big sandy hole out there,” said Daren Foust. “We seen ’em. They was fishing out there. We was fishing. We turn around, and they was gone. We thought they walk in already or something, then we seen the guys bringing them in on the paddleboard.”

Ocean Safety, Honolulu Emergency Medical Services, the Honolulu Fire Department, and Kahala hotel employees responded.

Mabida-Bridges was found unresponsive about 100 yards offshore from the hotel.

Hotel staff paddled out and brought both patients to shore where they performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the male patient. Ocean Safety and HFD took over with CPR until EMS arrived.

Paramedics took over with advanced life-saving treatment and transported the man to an emergency room in critical condition where he later died.

EMS also treated and transported the woman, who was awake, in serious condition.

It is unclear what happened but the area is known to have strong currents. Witnesses say the surf was small.

“The tide is low, but the wind and the current is strong,” said Foust. “I asked (the woman) what happened to you guys out there, and she said, ‘We got out. We threw out our oamas. He caught one, a small one. He let ’em go. Then the current just took us,’ so the current must have just went suck them in.”

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