Kauai fire officials suspend search for drowning victim

2 San Francisco men drowned off South Kalihiwai Point

Published  2:25 PM HST Jan 22, 2013

Following a three-day air, land and sea-based search for the body of drowning victim Brian Baker, the Kauai Fire Department said it has suspended its efforts Tuesday.

"With no sign of Mr. Baker’s body over the course of the past three days and extremely hazardous ocean conditions expected to continue today, we have decided to suspend the active search," stated Fire Chief Robert Westerman.  "Our hearts and deepest sympathy go out to the families of both men."

Baker, 47, and Griffith, age 46, drowned Friday afternoon in an area off South Kalihiwai Point.  It was reported that Griffith died while attempting to save Baker who was swept into the water by a rogue wave.

Griffith's body was recovered on Saturday.

Both men were visiting Kauai from San Francisco and were hiking with three other friends in a remote area just south of Kalihiwai Bay before the tragedy occurred.

A high surf warning remains in effect on Kauai’s north and west facing shores through 6 p.m. Tuesday.  Beachgoers are urged to stay out of the water in these areas and instead visit guarded beaches at Lydgate, Poipu, or Hanapepe beach parks.

The National Weather Service warns that strong breaking waves and dangerous rip currents could result in serious injury or death for those who enter the water.

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