Maui waters claim eight lives in two weeks

FILE PHOTO

Eight drownings in last two weeks on the island of Maui, two of them yesterday afternoon and this morning a man was found floating face down off Makena.

In the most recent case, lifeguards brought the visitor from California to shore and paramedics revived him, but he is hospitalized in critical condition.

The numbers are staggering and raise serious questions.

Six of the eight people that drowned were visitors. All eight were men, but aside from their gender there is little that connects them.

Five drownings in South Maui, two on the west side of the island, and one several miles north of the West Maui cases. All of them since January 14.

“I can’t recall when was the last time we had such a high number of drownings in such a short period of time,” Maui Fire Services Chief Ed Taomoto said.

What’s even more surprising is all but one drowning took place in seemingly harmless conditions.

“All the recent drownings [happened at what] were considered safe beaches except for there was one drowning on January 14th in the Alaeloa Point area on west, in West Maui,” Taomoto said.

Only one of the victims was at a beach with a lifeguard, and his body was found when the lifeguard was off duty

The recent rash of drownings on Maui and the fact that drowning is the leading cause of death to visitors in Hawaii raises several questions.

Scuba instructor and diving enthusiast Jamie Test said the most important things to remember is to always go with a buddy, know what the conditions are like where you plan to go, go to beaches with a lifeguard on duty, and learn how to use your equipment before you go out.

“Find out how to clear a mask if you don’t know how to do it, clear a snorkel, these are very key things when you’re snorkeling. You know people drown because they don’t know how to clear a snorkel,” Test explained.

Test also said that people need to know that snorkeling is more difficult than it looks.

“Snorkeling is very, it’s a very physical activity. The body loses heat like 20 times faster in water than it does in air and that actually takes a lot of energy out of you,” Test explained.

Maui Fire Services said they responded to another near drowning in South Maui around 10 a.m. this morning. A 71-year-old California man was snorkeling by himself.

He was taken to Maui Memorial Medical Center in critical condition.

KHON2 reached out to several lawmakers to find out what they are doing to better educate visitors and the public about water ocean safety. We’ll let you know when we hear back.


Minnesota Man Found Unresponsive on Snorkel Cruise

LAHAINA, MAUI – At 11:15 a.m. on Friday Jan. 26, 2018, emergency crews responded to the Lahaina Harbor to await the arrival of the catamaran Teralani 2. The crew was giving CPR to a male passenger that had just been pulled unresponsive from waters off of Olowalu, in West Maui.

At 11:53 a.m. responders boarded the vessel to take over CPR from the vessels’ crew. Paramedics and firefighters continued advanced life-saving measures on the male victim, however, despite all efforts the man could not be revived and was pronounced dead at the harbor.

The male victim is a 52-year-old visitor from Saint Paul, Minnesota.

The Teralani 2 was anchored at a snorkel spot off of Olowalu where passengers had been snorkeling. The crew noticed a man in their group had not moved for a while and went to check. After finding the man floating face down and unresponsive near the vessel, the crew brought the man onboard and began administering CPR.

The victim was using a traditional two piece mask and snorkel.

Firefighters from Lahaina and a Kihei paramedic crew responded to the incident.


Oregon Man Pulled from Kaanapali Waters

KAANAPALI, MAUI – At 12:56 p.m. on Friday Jan. 26, 2018, emergency crews responded to a male victim pulled from the ocean fronting the Marriott Maui Ocean Club in Kaanapali.

Firefighters arrived at 1:01 p.m. and found bystanders on the beach performing CPR on an adult male. Firefighters continued CPR until paramedics arrived a short time later. Despite all life-saving efforts, the man could not be revived and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The male victim is a 62-year-old visitor from Salem, Oregon.

The Oregon man had been snorkeling near shore for less than 5 minutes when a friend who was standing in the water nearby, found the victim floating face down and unresponsive. Beachgoers pulled the man to shore and started CPR.

The victim was using a traditional two piece mask and snorkel.

Firefighters from Lahaina and a Kihei paramedic crew responded to the incident.


Texas Visitor Dies in Scuba Diving Accident

MAKENA, MAUI – At 9:49 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, emergency crews in South Maui responded to Oneuli Beach, also known as Black Sand Beach, in Makena, for an unresponsive person being brought to shore.

Lifeguards from Makena State Park arrived at 9:54 a.m. just as bystanders reached the beach with a male victim. Lifeguards administered CPR until fire and paramedic crews arrived a short time later. Despite all life-saving efforts, rescue crews could not resuscitate the man and the victim died at the scene.

The male victim is a 57-year-old visitor from Montgomery, Texas.

The Texas man had gone scuba diving alone about an hour earlier. The victim’s friend remained on shore and waited for him on the beach. It’s unknown what went wrong, but a pair of free divers were on their way in to the beach when one of them spotted the victim lying motionless on the sea floor. The man was found about 30 yards from shore and in around 10 feet of water. The man still had on all of his scuba gear.

The divers signaled to people on shore that help was needed, then retrieved the man from the ocean bottom and swam him to shore. Other snorkelers nearby also assisted.

Firefighters and paramedics from Wailea and Kihei responded along with Makena State Park lifeguards.


Canadian Visitor Pulled from South Maui Waters Monday

WAILEA, MAUI – At 12:16 p.m., on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, emergency crews in South Maui responded to Ulua Beach in Wailea, after an unresponsive male was reported pulled from the water.

Firefighters arrived at 12:21 p.m. and found bystanders on the beach performing CPR on a male victim. Firefighters and paramedics continued with life-saving measures, however, despite all efforts the man could not be revived and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The male victim is a 66-year-old visitor from Saskatchewan, Canada.

The man had been scuba diving with a family member and had just exited the water. The man went back into the water and was assisting the family member with their gear and swimming back to shore when he suddenly became unresponsive. Other beachgoers pulled the man to shore and initiated CPR.


California Visitor Pulled from South Maui Waters Saturday

KIHEI, MAUI –. On Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, at 6:22 p.m., emergency crews in South Maui responded to Kamaole Beach Park III for an unresponsive male pulled from the ocean.

Firefighters arrived at 6:26 p.m. and found bystanders on the beach performing CPR on a male victim. Fire crews and paramedics continued life-saving measures, however, despite all efforts the man could not be resuscitated and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The male victim is a 67-year-old visitor from Castro Valley, California.

The man had been snorkeling with friends about 25 yards offshore at Kamaole Park III. After noticing that the victim wasn’t moving, friends checked on him and found the man face down and unresponsive. Friends pulled the victim to shore and started CPR with the help of bystanders on the beach.

Firefighters and paramedics from Wailea responded to the incident.


California Man Pulled Unresponsive from South Maui Waters

KIHEI, MAUI – At 12:39 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018, emergency crews in South Maui responded to Kamaole Beach Park III for an unresponsive male pulled from the ocean.

Lifeguards arrived at 12:42 p.m. and took over CPR from bystanders. Firefighters and paramedics followed and continued CPR, however, despite all efforts the male victim could not be revived and died at the scene.

The male victim is a 50-year-old visitor from Oakland, California. The visitor had gone snorkeling by himself and was found floating face down by beachgoers in knee-deep water 15 feet from shore. Bystanders pulled him to shore and initiated CPR.

Lifeguards from Kamaole III, along with firefighters and paramedics from Wailea responded to the incident.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s