Wife killed, husband still missing after swimming near Rainbow Falls

BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - The search for a missing man enters its second day on the Big Island after a fatal river outing over the weekend.

Officials say the man's wife was killed after the pair was swept away while swimming in the Wailuku River around 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

They were about 100 yards upstream of Rainbow Falls swimming with the man's stepson and the stepson's fiance when they got swept away in the current.

According to Hawaii County Fire officials, rescuers spotted the woman at the bottom of Rainbow Falls about 15 minutes after they arrived on the scene. Officials said she was found unconscious and had no pulse.

She was airlifted from the water and given CPR. She was later transported to the Hilo Medical Center where she later died. Officials confirm the man she was with was her husband.

Rescue crews continued their search Sunday, but were challenged by ongoing dangerous conditions in the water. Expected wet weather continues to challenge search efforts into the week. Ground crews scoured the river banks while Chopper One searched from the air.

County officials say the area can be dangerous for swimmers.

"The Wailuku River has claimed a lot of lives," Matthias Kush, Hawaii County Fire Department battalion chief said. "Whenever people swim in the river during rainfall period, the water is elevated, the currents are stronger and it become less predictable. It's also prone to surges from rainfall upslope that you may not see."

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