‘Monfore found floating in swimming hole’


The Department of Public Safety is still looking into the death of ocean swimmer Monte Monfore, who was found dead at Pinatang Park in Songsong, Rota Tuesday afternoon.

Acting DPS spokesman Lt. Jason Tarkong said yesterday that Monfore, 56, was found floating face down in the swimming hole at Pinatang Park.

Tarkong said that a witness called 911 on Tuesday at 3pm to report that a Caucasian male had been found floating in the swimming hole at Pinatang Park.

Tarkong said Rota Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services medics and Rota police responded to Pinatang Park. He said medics did chest compressions on Monfore.

Tarkong said the victim was brought to the Rota Health Center, where a doctor pronounced him dead.

No other details were released.

It was Dr. Gregory Kotheimer, a physician at the Commonwealth Health Center, who declared Monfore dead on arrival at the Rota Health Center. Kotheimer has been temporarily assigned at Rota Health Center.

Dr. Francois Claassens, a resident of Rota, told Saipan Tribune that Monfore had a “very significant” open head injury.

Claassens, however, stated that it is not clear whether Monfore’s injury was a result of him hitting his head on a rock while swimming or somebody else hitting him.

At the time, the waters were rough because of a passing storm.

Monfore made a 7-kilometer, Lombok Straight Fight Hunger Swim in Indonesia as part of the May 13, 2007, World Food Program Global Walk the World, an event supporting hungry schoolchildren. From California, he reportedly resided in Bali, then settled alone on Rota six months ago.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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