Visitor dies after being swept into ocean at Maui’s Nakalele Blowhole

A man died Saturday after he was swept into the ocean by a large wave.

It happened at around 12:41 p.m. at Nakalele Blowhole, near mile marker 38 on Kahekili Highway.

According to the Maui Fire Department, a 48-year-old visitor from Ontario, Canada was lying on the rocks near the water’s edge when he was washed into the ocean.

The man was reportedly swimming and staying afloat, but at some point became unresponsive.

A lifeguard on a rescue watercraft arrived at around 1 p.m. and found the man floating face-down and lifeless about 200 feet from shore.

Soon after, the fire department’s Air-1 helicopter arrived and rescue swimmers were deployed into the water to assist lifeguard personnel with recovering the victim.

The man was airlifted to a grassy area off Kahekili Highway and pronounced dead at the scene.

The Maui Fire Department outlines the following safety tips when enjoying the coastline near cliff areas:

  • If the rocks are wet, it means ocean waves are reaching that area so use caution and stay in dry areas.
  • Even when it’s dry, ocean waves can still reach you, so be vigilant. Large, unexpected waves often times come out of nowhere and can cause injury or death.
  • Never turn your back to the ocean. Always keep a watchful eye for potential incoming ocean waves.

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