Tulsa Man Dies In Ocean While Defying Hawaii Quarantine

Jun 22, 2020

HONOLULU (AP) — A tourist from Oklahoma who was supposed to be obeying Hawaii’s 14-day quarantine for travelers arriving to the state, was pronounced dead after he was found unresponsive in the ocean.


The Honolulu medical examiner’s office identified him as Kristopher Michael Oliphant, 39, of Tulsa, Oklahoma. A cause of death was pending Friday. 


He arrived June 7 and should have stayed in quarantine until Sunday. However, he checked out of his hotel Wednesday, said Jessical Lani Rich, president of the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii, which helps tourists in distress. Her organization reached out to his family in Oklahoma.

A fisherman found an unresponsive man in the water just after 5 p.m. Wednesday and called 911, according to Honolulu Emergency Services. Ocean Safety workers brought Oliphant into Maunalua Bay, where they pronounced him dead.


Arriving tourists and residents in quarantine aren’t allowed to leave hotel rooms or residences for anything except medical emergencies. 


The quarantine has effectively shut-down Hawaii’s tourism-dependent economy, but it has helped the islands maintain relatively low infection rates compared to other parts of the U.S. 


As of Thursday, 762 people have tested positive for the virus and 17 people have died.