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California Woman Drowns Off South Kohala Coast of the Big Island

A California woman apparently drowned Thursday (November 15) in waters along the South Kohala coast.

Eileen Melville

The woman has been identified as 70-year-old Eileen Melville of Midvalley, California.

South Kohala patrol officers responded to Beach 69 in Puako after receiving a 12:08 p.m. call reporting an unresponsive snorkeler.

Responding officers learned that bystanders had pulled the woman from the water and attempted cardiopulmonary resuscitation until Fire Department personnel arrived. She was taken to North Hawaiʻi Community Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 1:17 p.m.

Police have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.