A 63-year-old man died after failing to return from diving in waters off Kaneohe, Saturday night.
The call of a missing swimmer came in around 7:19 p.m. at Kualoa Regional Park. The Honolulu Fire Department conducted a search until a private boat located the man identified as Eldean Kukahiko just after 9 p.m.
Life saving measures were performed, but Kukahiko was pronounced dead at the scene.
Melanie Afualo of Kahaluu Elementary remembers Kukahiko for his work in the Kahaluu community.
"Uncle Eldean loved the Kahaluu community, especially all of the keiki that surrounded him daily at our Kahaluu Elementary School, the ukulele band, the community, the people that surrounded him, his family, his friends. Everyone to him was not friends, everyone ohana," Afualo said.
Afualo says Kukahiko was a police officer and previously ran for house representative. He also founded the Kahaluu Ukulele Band program that takes students around the state to play the ukulele.
"If anybody knew Uncle Eldean, he was a patriarch of Kahaluu and the Kahalu community," she said. "It's a huge loss for our community and especially for our keiki but I think he has taught us all so, so much. That now it's our time to take that responsibility from him and to continue it on in our individual families."
The cause of death remains undetermined. An autopsy is scheduled for Monday.