A father on a Hawaiian vacation with his family was swept out to sea with his youngest daughter after he tried to rescue the girl when she fell into high waves, authorities said.
Mark Hornor was at a tide pool on the island of Oahu with his little girl, Mina, age 6, when a strong wave knocked her off a rock and sucked her under, emergency workers said.
Hornor, 46, jumped in to save his daughter but was also pulled far from shore, despite being an experienced surfer.
“He was just a fantastic human being. He tried to save her. And I don’t think he wanted to come back empty-handed,” his brother, Matthew Horner, told KGMB-TV.
Horner and his wife, Jessamy, have two other daughters and were on vacation when the accident happened Saturday. Hornor, who is an attorney, is also an avid cyclist and was in excellent shape, officials said.
Lifeguards on jet skis quickly descended on the scene, picking up Hornor and then coming back for little Mina, authorities said. But after performing CPR on the beach for more than 20 minutes, the news was grim.
Both father and daughter were dead.
“There was no movement,” witness Jamie DeMatoff told the station. “His body was lifeless, just like the little girl. My heart just sunk watching this happen.”
Weather conditions were hazardous, according to Emergency Services Department spokeswoman Shayne Enright. “It’s too windy, there’s a high surf advisory, it’s extremely dangerous.
“On a day like today, it wasn’t for families down there,” she said.