A Bay Area father died after jumping into a tide pool in Oahu to rescue his drowning 6-year-old daughter who had been swept away by a wave over the weekend, Hawaii officials said.
The pair were identified Tuesday as Berkeley residents Mark Hornor, 46, and his daughter Mina.
On Saturday morning, a large wave washed Mina off the rocks along the Makapuu Tide Pools in Oahu while her two older sisters and father were nearby. Her father jumped into the turbulent seas after her.
“We know that the conditions were rough. It was very choppy out there,” said Shayne Enright, a spokeswoman for the Honolulu Emergency Services Department. “It was very windy and the surf was coming in from different directions.”
A high surf advisory was in effect at the time and the tide pool area was unguarded, she said.
The family was in the tide pools alone and the mother was elsewhere on the island when Mina was swept out to sea, Enright said. Witnesses who happened upon the panicked scene called 911 and lifeguards on jet skis had fished out the father and daughter within about 10 minutes, she said.
But they were too late. Lifeguards performed CPR until the two were rushed to the hospital, where they were pronounced dead.
Mark Hornor was an avid surfer and cyclist who was familiar with the local waters, his family told KHNL-TV.
“He jumped in to save her, it’s all true,” Hornor’s brother, Matthew Hornor, told the station. “I don’t think he wanted to come back empty-handed.”
Lifeguard officials mourned the deaths in a post on Facebook on Monday night.
“As lifeguards, you go to work every day not knowing what hand you will be dealt. Some days everything goes for the best, but there are days where you find yourself living a nightmare. This was one of those days that impact all of us. Our continued thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones of this father and child,” the post said.
The last drownings at the Makapuu Tide Pools were in 2011 and also involved a father and daughter, Enright said.