Family identifies CA father, daughter who died at Makapuu Tide Pools

Published: Jul. 16, 2016 at 5:54 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 19, 2016 at 4:23 PM HST
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(Image: Jamie DeMatoff)
(Image: Jamie DeMatoff)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
Mark and Mina Hornor (Courtesy: Family)
Mark and Mina Hornor (Courtesy: Family)

MAKAPUU, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A series of rogue waves swept a California man and his 6-year-old daughter into the sea, and ultimately to their deaths, at the Makapuu Tide Pools on Saturday.

Family members identified the man as Mark Hornor, a 46-year-old lawyer and an avid cyclist from Berkeley, Calif., and his daughter Mina, the youngest of three daughters in the family.

The family said Hornor was a sibling of five and that he is remembered by his wife, Jessamy, who is from Hawaii, and their two daughters.

Hornor's brother, Matthew, said a large wave first knocked over Mina and as Hornor tried to retrieve her, another large wave took them both out into the sea.

The brother said Hornor was no stranger to the water as an avid surfer, and that he was in very good shape. Last year, Hornor biked 900 miles across the United Kingdom for charity, according to the brother.

"He was just a fantastic human being, he jumped in tried to save her. And I don't think he wanted to come back empty handed," Matthew Hornor said.

Lifeguards rushed to the scene on jet skis, plucked the two from the water and administered CPR after bringing them to a nearby beach. But they remained unresponsive, and were later pronounced dead at a hospital.

Witnesses say the events happened in a matter of moments -- and the aftermath was difficult to watch.

"There was no movement," said Jamie DeMatoff, who was on the beach when lifeguards were giving the father and daughter CPR. "His body was lifeless just like the little girl. My heart just sank just watching this happen."

The deaths prompted officials to renew calls to use caution in the area, which has grown in popularity.

"On a day like today, it wasn't for families down there," said Shayne Enright, spokeswoman for the city Emergency Services Department. "Conditions were not favorable. It's too windy, there's a High Surf Advisory. It's extremely dangerous."

In recent years, there have been several near-drownings, drownings and other incidents at the spot.

Just last month, a teenage girl was seriously injured when a large wave knocked her over. A 12-year-old girl was seriously injured in 2015. And in 2011, a father and his 11-year-old daughter drowned at the tide pools.

"We all send out condolences to that family and that's right now what we want to express," said Enright.

Meanwhile, the family said they visited the Medical Examiner's Office to see Hornor's body to "give him a kiss on the forehead" but were not allowed to see him until identification was completed.

- Janelle Guerrero-Miguel contributed to this report.

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