Man drowns at Bird Island


New Year’s Day came with grim news about a 22-year-old man who drowned off the shores of Bird Island.

Akiyama Eiki, a Japanese male, was pronounced dead at the Commonwealth Heath Center on Jan. 1, 2019, at 2:55pm after drowning off Bird Island.

According to a report from the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services, they received a call from the Department of Public Safety’s dispatch last Tuesday about a distressed swimmer at Bird Island.

At 1:22pm, Medic 2 and Engine 3 from the Garapan fire station and Rescue 1 from the Susupe fire station responded and arrived at the scene at 1:35pm.

EMS first responders then went down on foot along the trail to Bird Island where the victim was located.

A bystander was already doing chest compressions on the victim in an attempt to revive him. The bystander told EMS personnel that he found the unconscious victim underwater and pulled him out and immediately performed cardiovascular pulmonary resuscitation on him until the EMS personnel arrived.

The victim was placed on a spine board and carried back up the trail and brought to CHC’s emergency room. The victim was pronounced dead at 2:55pm on the same day by CHC’s Dr. Nick Villalone.

Eiki is the first reported death-by-drowning incident of 2019.

A high surf advisory is also in effect until 7am today. Also, a small craft advisory is in effect until 6pm Tuesday next week due to a high risk of rip currents through Tuesday afternoon.

Based on information received from the National Weather Service in Tiyan, Guam, and compiled at the CNMI Emergency Operations Center State Warning Point, large swells will continue to produce hazardous surf and dangerous rip currents on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at

Related Posts

Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.