Man dies after being swept into the ocean

The Maui News – The body of a 56-year-old Napili man was recovered from West Maui waters after he was knocked off some rocks while picking opihi with a relative, according to a fire official.

At 11:51 a.m. Sunday, emergency crews in West Maui responded to a call for a person swept into the ocean near Punalau Beach, commonly known as Windmills Beach, Fire Services Chief Edward Taomoto said.

A lifeguard rescue watercraft that had just responded to an incident at Oneloa Beach arrived at the scene at about 12:15 p.m. Lifeguards spotted a male floating unresponsive in the water, 150 feet from shore and about a half-mile west of Windmills Beach.

Firefighters and lifeguards recovered the man and transported him by watercraft to D.T. Fleming Beach Park, where crews began CPR and advanced lifesaving measures, Taomoto said. However, the victim could not be revived and died at the scene.

The victim, a 56-year-old Napili man, was picking opihi on the shoreline with a 28-year-old male relative when a wave knocked him off the rocks, Taomoto said. Someone watching from the cliff above saw what was happening and called for help. The relative tried to pull the victim back up onto the rocks but couldn’t, so he also went to call for help. The victim was last seen treading water before rescue crews got to him.

An engine company and a fire rescue boat from Lahaina, along with D.T. Fleming Beach Park lifeguards and paramedics from Maalaea and Lahaina, responded to the incident.

Sunday’s incident marks the 13th ocean-related fatality this year, Taomoto said.