Washington judge found dead off the Big Island


POSTED: Friday, December 04, 2009


A 62-year-old judge from Washington state died yesterday while snorkeling off the South Kohala coast of the Big Island.

The victim, John O. Linde of Friday Harbor, Wash. had been snorkeling with a friend in Anaehoomalu Bay about 9 a.m., Big Island police said. The friend returned to shore for about 20 minutes between 9:30 and 10 a.m., police said.

A charter snorkeling boat found Linde floating about 75 yards from shore. The crew of the boat took him to shore and tried to revive him until fire rescue personnel arrived.

Linde was taken to North Hawaii Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead about 11:20 a.m.

Linde was a Superior Court judge in San Juan County, Washington,  the Journal of the San Juans newspaper reported today, citing an announcement from Sheriff Bill Cumming.

The paper reported that Linde was a private practice attorney in Friday Harbor when Gov. Christine Gregoire appointed him to the position in December 2007, and he won election to a four-year term in November 2008.