Father, son die
off Kauai beach

The 2 Pennsylvania visitors
were caught in a strong current

By Rosemarie Bernardo

A father and his 17-year-old son died in rough waters off Nukolii Beach along Kauai's eastern shore Saturday afternoon, officials said.

Fire officials identified the victims as 47-year-old Dave Kitzmiller and his son Jeremy of Blairsville, Pa.

"It was an unnecessary tragedy," said Battalion Chief Bob Kaden of the Kauai Fire Department.

Kitzmiller, his wife and two children were vacationing at the Pahio Resort at Kauai Beach Villas at 3970 Wyllie Road. The victims' family could not be reached for comment.

Kaden said the two were swimming together in rough water at Nukolii on the left side of Marine Camp about 1 p.m.

Kitzmiller's wife and 13-year-old daughter also were in the water but got out because of the strong current, Kaden said. Waves were about 5 to 7 feet high, Kaden said.

Kitzmiller's wife pleaded with her husband and son to get out of the water, Kaden said.

"The father worked really hard to fight the current," he said.

Fire rescue personnel, lifeguards and members of the Emergency Medical Services team responded when a witness called 911.

Kaden said Jeremy Kitzmiller was found floating on the surface while a lifeguard found his father's body in 10 to 12 feet of water.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation was administered to both victims, Kaden said. Dave Kitzmiller was pronounced dead at the beach.

EMS officials administered oxygen to Jeremy as they took him to Wilcox Memorial Hospital. Kaden said he was pronounced dead in the hospital's emergency room.

Kaden said signs were posted warning beachgoers of the strong current. "You can't swim out of the current. They could've gone with the current and treaded water and waited for help," Kaden said.

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