Woman dead after apparent drowning at Spitting Caves

HAWAII KAI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hearts are heavy after a U.S. Navy sailor dies at a dangerous spot in East Oahu Sunday afternoon.

Capt. Rick Maurer with the Honolulu Fire Department says the woman, 22, jumped off the cliff at Spitting Caves. She couldn't climb back up and started struggling in the rough water.

Maurer says her friends jumped in to try to save her but couldn't.

"You know we all want to have fun but if you're not familiar with the environment that you're in, or the level of the ability that's required to be safe in that environment, then it's just not worth the risk," said Maurer.

The victim's friend says they were out there celebrating because one of their other friends just recently got his Navy wings.  The friend said they did it as a leap of faith.

"That's a place people need to take a lot of care, even on a seemingly calm days it can be rough out there.  And today is a windy day, there's a south swell going on so that makes it worse," said Maurer.

Emergency crews got to the scene shortly before 2:00 p.m.  They tried to revive the woman but were unsuccessful.

"It's rough out there today and they were unable to keep her afloat long enough, continuously enough and she expired as a result," Maurer said.

This is the second death at Spitting Caves in recent months. The last one occurred April 5. The victim was a man who also was a Navy sailor.

Maurer just wishes people would be more careful.

"You gotta assess what you're doing and be safe.  Just wish that more people would exercise a greater degree of caution," he said.

Her identity has not yet been released.  We're told she was stationed in Kaneohe.

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