Free diver rescued, taken to hospital

A free diver who signaled for help before becoming unresponsive was transported to the hospital in critical condition Saturday morning, Fire Services Chief Edward Taomoto said.

At 10:20 a.m. Saturday, emergency crews in West Maui responded to Papalaua Wayside Park in Ukumehame for a report of a male waving his arms in distress about 100 yards from shore.

The 58-year-old man from Waiehu had been spearfishing offshore when something caused him to call out for help, Taomoto said. Two bystanders went out with bodyboards to give the man assistance. At some point, the man became unresponsive and was brought to shore.

When paramedics and firefighters arrived at 10:35 a.m., bystanders were already performing CPR on the man. Crews continued CPR until the man regained a pulse. He was transported to Maui Memorial Medical Center in critical condition.

Firefighters and paramedic crews from Lahaina and Maalaea responded to the incident.

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