Beloved Punahou teacher dies after Waikiki Roughwater swim

1 dead, 1 critical in Waikiki Roughwater swim

WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - [Update]

Sources confirmed with Hawaii News Now that the swimmer who died was Dan Mindich, a Punahou School teacher.

According to Punahou's website, Mindich grew up in New York City and received his bachelor's degree from Vassar College and master's degree in education from Stanford University. He began teaching in Punahou's Academy English Department in 2003, but at the end of the 2008 academic year, Mindich and his family moved to California so he could complete his Ph.D. in education at Stanford.

He returned to Punahou in 2011, resuming his role in the Academy English department. He taught English as part of an American Studies course -- in collaboration with social studies faculty -- to juniors.

Punahou School President Jim Scott said in a statement, "We were deeply saddened to learn of the death of our colleague, Dr. Daniel Mindich. He was a valued member of our school community, and our heartfelt condolences go out to his family."

In addition to his teaching career at Punahou, Mindich had previously taught English at the middle and high school levels in California, Vermont and Kenya.

Mindich leaves behind a wife and three children.

[Original story]

Tragedy struck the 45th annual Waikiki Roughwater swim Monday when a competitor died after being found unresponsive in the water.

Race Director Kaia Hedlund said the male was found unresponsive and taken to Kaimana beach, where CPR was performed. He was then transported to an area hospital where he died.

Another man, described as being in his 50's, collapsed near the finish of the race. Despite initially being thought to be a competitor, Hedlund said he was not associated with the race.

Both of the accidents happened despite several safety personnel being near or in the water.

"There's over 70 water safety personnel on the water. 20 of those are professionals" said Mike Lewis, the Media Director for the race.

"We do everything in our power to avert catastrophe, but in the end, this is the ocean" he continued.

That sentiment was echoed by EMS Spokeswoman Shayne Enright, who commented on other water related deaths this holiday weekend.

"We must emphasize, that people need to swim where a lifeguard is watching" she said.

Sunday, a 42-year old man died after encountering troubles snorkeling in the waters off Ko Olina.

Saturday, there were two ocean related deaths. 38-year old Dante Biacan of Waipahu died after being pulled out of the ocean near Laie.

On Maui, 60-year old Greg Eveloff of Arizona died after running into troubles in the waters off Ka'anapali.

Back on Oahu, Lewis had a message for anyone going into the ocean. "If you think it's more than you can handle, then it's more than you can handle and it's time to stay on the beach”.

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