Man Who Died Picking Opihi Identified

A 43-year-old Papaikou man died Saturday (May 5) while reportedly picking opihi alone in Onomea.

The victim has been identified as Paul Kaaukai.

At 1:52 p.m. Saturday, Hilo patrol officers responded to a report of a body floating in Onomea Bay. When officers arrived, they found Fire Department personnel on shore with the lifeless body.

Kaaukai was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where he was officially pronounced dead at 4:30 p.m.

An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday to determine the exact cause of death.

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