BP Agent Drowns at Hawaii Waterfall

The El Centro-based U.S. Border Patrol agent was swimming at Waimea Falls on Oahu Sunday

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Gungon (pictured) was visiting the Waimea Falls while on vacation with his family Sunday May 19, 2013.

    An El Centro-based U.S. Border Patrol agent drowned at a well-known waterfall on Hawaii.

    Kris Gungon, 31, died Sunday while swimming at Waimea Falls on the north shore of Oahu. Gungon was on vacation with his wife and 5-month-old daughter, but his wife and daughter were not swimming when the drowning happened.

    Waimea Falls lifeguards were able to rescue another woman who was struggling near the falls, but they were unable to save Gungon. Divers reported finding him in approximately 20 feet of water.

    There have been reports Gungon may have been trying to rescue a woman. But the Oahu Fire Department said it has received conflicting reports and can't confirm what Gungon was doing prior to his death.

    Gungon's cousin, Luann Miller, told NBC 7 she doesn't know if the reports are true, but it wouldn't surprise her.

    "He was always the type of person that would be willing to help," Miller said.

    Gungon's family members said they're shocked because he was very athletic and a strong swimmer.

    The Visitor Aloha Society of Hawai`i (VASH) helps tourists who are victims of accidents or crime while visiting the islands. A spokesperson said the family is working with officials to return to the mainland with Gungon's remains.

    "They said there’s no way to describe how awesome Kris was," Jessica Rich with the VASH said.

    “There is a hole in our hearts today and we will miss him,” the statement read.

    Gungon's Facebook profile includes images of his daughter Evan Rose, born in December 2012.

    The U.S. Border Patrol confirmed Agent Gungon’s death, adding that the cause was still under investigation.

    Gungon entered duty with the U.S. Border Patrol on March 5, 2009 and was assigned to the El Centro Border Patrol Station, which is part of the El Centro Sector.

    Ed. Note: The original version of this article reported misinformation from a Hawai'i television news website. The original version also included comments from a family friend. The Oahu Fire Department cannot confirm the victim was trying to rescue a female swimmer. The article has since been corrected. We regret the errors.

    Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL