Hawai‘i Island police are investigating a possible drowning that took place on Friday, August 11, 2023, along the shoreline in South Kohala. Police have identified the victim as Joann Butler, 72, of Boise, Idaho.
On Friday at 5:57 p.m., officers responded to a report of a female swimmer face down and unresponsive in shallow water at Makaiwa Beach off Kaniku Place. Upon arrival, officers found bystanders performing CPR and Hawai‘i Fire Department medics were summoned. The woman was taken to Queen’s North Hawaii Community Hospital but she remained unresponsive and was pronounced dead at 8:55 p.m.
Police have initiated a coroner’s inquest investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.