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Police Investigating Two West Hawaiʻi Ocean Related Deaths

Hawai‘i Island police are investigating two West Hawaiʻi ocean-related deaths involving visitors that took place within 24 hour timeframe.
On Wednesday June 7, Kona patrol officers responded to Keauhou Bay after receiving a report of an unresponsive female aboard a snorkeling tour boat.  Boat staff said a group disembarked the vessel to go snorkeling. Later, a 62-year-old female, later identified as Barbara Bentrup, of St. Louis, Missouri, began having difficulty breathing. She was assisted to the boat’s deck where she remained conscious for 10 minutes before going unresponsive. CPR was performed by staff as the vessel returned to the dock. Hawai‘i County Fire Department medics arrived on scene and continued CPR as Bentrup was transported to Kona Community Hospital. Efforts to resuscitate her were unsuccessful and she was later pronounced dead.
Hawai‘i Island police are also investigating a possible South Kohala drowning involving a visitor from Texas.
On June 8, officers responded to a report of an unresponsive man that was pulled out of the ocean at Kauna‘oa Bay, in the South Kohala area. 
A lifeguard observed the man face-down in the ocean, pulled him to shore, and began CPR. Hawai‘i County Fire Department medics arrived on scene and continued CPR while transporting the victim to the Queen’s North Hawai‘i Community Hospital.
The unresponsive man, later identified as 68-year-old Charles Yanez of Katy, Texas, was pronounced dead about an hour later.
Police have initiated coroner’s inquest investigations into both deaths and have ordered an autopsy for each case to determine the exact cause of death.

No foul play is suspected at this time in either case, however police ask anyone with information pertinent to either of these incidents to call the police department’s non-emergency line at 808-935-3311.

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