Man dies af­ter be­ing swept into the ocean

The Maui News - - TODAY’S PEOPLE - The Maui News

A Cana­dian man died Saturday af­ter be­ing swept into the ocean by a wave at Nakalele Blow­hole in West Maui, ac­cord­ing to a fire of­fi­cial.

Emer­gency crews re­sponded to the area of Mile­post 38 on Ka­hek­ili High­way af­ter the 12:41 p.m. call, said Fire Ser­vices Chief Ed­ward Tao­moto.

A life­guard on a res­cue wa­ter­craft ar­rived on the scene around 1 p.m. and found the male float­ing face down and life­less about 200 feet from shore, Tao­moto said. The Fire Depart­ment’s Air One heli­copter was dis­patched to the scene with res­cue swim­mers who were de­ployed to the wa­ter to as­sist life­guards.

The 48-year-old On­tario res­i­dent was air­lifted to a grassy area near the high­way and trans­ferred to paramedics at 1:22 p.m. The vic­tim could not be re­sus­ci­tated and died at the scene, Tao­moto said.

The vic­tim was ly­ing on the rocks near the wa­ter’s edge when he was washed into the ocean by a large wave, Tao­moto said. He was re­port­edly swim­ming and stay­ing afloat, but at some point be­came un­re­spon­sive.

Ocean safety life­guards from D.T. Fleming Beach Park and fire crews from Napili and Kahului re­sponded to the in­ci­dent.

The Maui Fire Depart­ment of­fers the fol­low­ing tips for ocean users when they’re along the coast­line in 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. Large un­ex­pected waves, or “rogue waves,” can cause in­jury or death.

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