Hawaii mother, 29, drowns after slipping and falling from the top of a cliff in front of horrified boyfriend who dove in the water himself when first responders arrived WITHOUT water rescue equipment

A 29-year-old mother of two from Hawaii drowned after slipping and falling from the top of a cliff in front of her horrified boyfriend before being swept out to sea.

Kalaiokealaula Ashley Nicole Reyes Kanekoa was with her boyfriend, Dylan Gapp, 31, watching the waves on a cliff near Hawaiian Paradise Park around 2am Sunday when she slipped and fell into the raging current near Puna Coast.

Her frantic boyfriend said he had to listen to her ‘suffer and scream for help,’ during the agonizing wait for emergency personnel to arrive that he claimed took hours, Hawaii News Now reported.

He said when police and firefighters finally did arrive, they were not equipped with the life saving equipment they needed to rescue his girlfriend. 

During the harrowing ordeal, he attempted to toss a flotation device to her, but tragically the young woman was pulled out by the ocean’s currents.

Traumatized by the unimaginable event, Gapp said his girlfriend survived the plunge but did not survive the long wait for help, and claimed emergency personnel should have done more to save her, as per the news outlet.

Kalaiokealaula Ashley Nicole Reyes Kanekoa, 29, slipped and fell off a cliff and then drowned early Sunday morning near Hawaiian Paradise Park  

Boyfriend Dylan Gapp, 31, said he had to listen to her ‘suffer and scream for help,’ during the agonizing wait for emergency personnel to arrive 

Kalaiokealaula Ashley Nicole Reyes Kanekoa was described by her boyfriend as a loving, devoted mother who would do anything for her children 

‘I had to get a raft to her. They didn’t have a flotation device. I got the raft out to her, and I said, OK, let’s get a rope to her so she doesn’t drift away, and they said, ‘Oh, we don’t have any rope,’ Gapp told Hawaii News Now.

‘To sit there and watch this girl suffer for 45 minutes to an hour suffer and scream for help and them to say boats were coming eventually.’

Hawaii County police and firefighters responded, within seven minutes of the 911 call.

Officials said that the fire truck was not required to carry ocean equipment, and with dangerous conditions from a large north swell,  it was too dark and hazardous for first responders to enter into the waters.

Hawaii County Police Captain Todd Pataray told the news outlet they ‘requested services from the fire department for a rescue boat, attempted to call a fire department helicopter and called the Coast Guard.’

Gapp said he tried to save his girlfriend on his own and swam out to where she was clinging to a raft, after an hour of waiting for the helicopter and rescue boat to surface, but by the time he returned, he said emergency responders could no longer see her.

The devastated boyfriend recounted the painful and heartbreaking ordeal in detail.

 ‘Her sitting on that raft screaming help. ‘What do I do now? What do I do now?’ And me telling her they are going to get you, and they are going to get you. And they never came to get her,’ Gapp recalled, Hawaii News Now reported.

The Hawaii Fire Department told Hawaii News Now that the conditions were too windy to fly the helicopter, and said the rescue boat had to come from Hilo about 15 miles up the coast and arrived at 4am.

According to police, the fire department and Coast Guard searched for the missing woman through the early morning hours, and by 8 am, nearly six hours after the tragic fall, the young woman’s body was found approximately four miles down the shore near Honolulu Landing in Pāhoa.

She was transported to the Hilo Medical Center where she was pronounced deceased at 10.58am, according to a police statement.

An autopsy determined that her manner and cause of death was accidental drowning. Police said there was no foul play suspected, People reported. 

Hawaiian authorities told the news outlet that an investigation is ongoing and that they are awaiting toxicology reports.

The site where Reyes fell on the Puna Coast on the Hawaiian island 

A cliff-side memorial was set up near the site where the young mother, who tragically fell to her death early Sunday morning 

Gapp called his love, ‘a loving, caring person.’

‘She loved her kids more than anything. She had a lot of fun. Lot of joy in life. She was always giggling, laughing,’ he said.

A GoFundMe was created to help raise money for Keankekoa’s funeral. As of Friday afternoon more than $3,400 has been raised towards their goal of $8,000. 

Friends and loved ones expressed their grief on social media sharing how much Reyes Kanekoa touched their lives.

‘My sweet sweet beautiful friend, you were the first friend I ever had. Fly high with the angels, rest easy my beautiful friend.’ 

Another friend wrote: ‘She will always remain in the hearts of all of us who loved & cherished her deeply. Kala’i was a light & shared that light with everyone.’

‘I thank all the powers that be for my ability to have known her in my lifetime. May she rest in the very same light & love that she gave to others.’

source: dailymail.co.uk