HANALEI — A male surfer drowned in the waters off of Hanalei Saturday.
At about 5:43 p.m., dispatch received a report of the drowning, according to county spokeswoman Beth Tokioka.
Fire rescue personnel recovered the male victim on a Jet Ski.
According to North Shore resident Terry Lilley, the victim took off on a big wave and did not come up.
“We are all sad on the beach tonight as a local surfer lost his life today in the big surf,” Lilley said. “The surfers at Hanalei are all good friends and this could have happened to any of us.”
This is the fifth ocean drowning on Kaua‘i this year. On Tuesday, Kaua‘i saw its first fresh water drowning of 2013 when a male visitor from Canada was found in the Wainiha River.
In 2012, Kaua‘i saw a total of four drownings — two in the ocean and two in fresh water.
In 2011, there were 12 lives lost to drownings on Kaua‘i.
There is a high surf warning in effect for or north- and west-facing shores of Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau until 6 p.m. today.