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Tourist didn't die saving woman at Hawaii falls

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 22, 2013 at 6:10 pm •  Published: May 22, 2013

HALEIWA, Hawaii (AP) — A California tourist who drowned at a Hawaii waterfall over the weekend wasn't trying to save a woman, as was previously believed, Honolulu police said.

Soon after Kris Gungon, 31, of Imperial, drowned at Waimea Falls on Sunday, fire officials said he disappeared beneath the surface after going into the water to help a woman in distress. But police said Wednesday further investigation revealed he was trying to swim out of the waterfall when he apparently drowned.

Fire officials were told Gungon was trying rescue a woman at the waterfall. "It's unfortunate that we went ahead and shared that very preliminary information," Honolulu Fire Department spokesman Capt. Terry Seelig said Wednesday. "Information often changes."

Seelig said the department learned a lesson from the incident and apologized for any grief the misinformation caused.

An autopsy was conducted Monday but the medical examiner's office has not yet determined cause of death.

Gungon's widow, Denise Gungon, remained on Oahu Wednesday. She said she and her husband, a U.S. Border Patrol agent, were vacationing on Oahu with their infant daughter. She was too distraught to discuss what happened.

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