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Valley man dies while visiting Hawaii in apparent drowning

Bakir Shelesh, 28, died Saturday morning after he apparently drowned near Wainiha Bay.

HAWAII, USA — Editor's Note: The above video is from an earlier broadcast in 2021.

A Valley man visiting Hawaii has died after he apparently lost control of his bodyboard and drowned. 

Bakir Shelesh, 28, of Glendale was pulled from the waters off of Wainihia Bay and later died at the hospital Saturday morning, according to the Kaua'i Police Department.

Officials were dispatched Friday evening to the bay for reports of a swimmer in distress. Shelesh had reportedly lost his bodyboard and was swept into deeper water, police said. 

The Arizona man briefly regained a pulse after paramedics pulled him out of the water and performed CPR, but he died a short time later. Police don't suspect foul play and an autopsy will determine Shelesh's exact cause of death.

RELATED: Valley woman's trip to Hawaii ends in tragedy

RELATED: Deputies searching for man that went underwater at Lake Pleasant

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How big is Maricopa County? 

Maricopa County is the United States’ 4th largest county in terms of population with 4,485,414 people, according to the 2020 Census. 

The county contains around 63% of Arizona’s population and is 9,224 square miles. That makes the county larger than seven U.S. states (Rhode Island, Delaware, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey, Massachusetts and New Hampshire). 

One of the largest park systems in the nation is also located in Maricopa County. The county has an estimated 120,000 acres of open space parks that includes hundreds of miles of trails, nature centers and campgrounds. 

The county’s seat is located in Phoenix, which is also the state capital and the census-designated 5th most populous city in the United States. 

The county was named after the Maricopa, or Piipaash, Native American Tribe.  

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