Man, 27, recovered from East Maui pond

The Maui News – A 27-year-old man died after he fell into a pond in East Maui and didn’t resurface Wednesday afternoon, a fire official said.

Emergency crews went to Mile Marker 21 on Hana Highway in response to the 1:51 p.m. call, said Fire Services Chief Edward Taomoto.

He said firefighters arrived at West Wailua Iki Stream at 2:26 p.m. and learned that the man had fallen into the pond while taking photos on the stream bank. A friend jumped in to try to save him but wasn’t able to keep the man afloat without being pulled underwater by the victim, Taomoto said. He said bystanders had to drive out of the area to get cellphone reception to call 911.

The Fire Department’s Air One helicopter transported fire rescue crew members, who helped Hana firefighters search the pond that is located next to the bridge on the mauka side of the highway, Taomoto said. He said divers recovered the victim at about 3 p.m. and carried him up to the highway, where paramedics pronounced the man dead at the scene. The man was found submerged at the bottom of the pond in about 10 feet of water, Taomoto said.

He said the victim is a Maui native who was living in Honolulu.

The death was the 14th in Maui County waters this year and the first to occur in freshwater, Taomoto said. He said the other 13 were ocean deaths.

Firefighters, police and paramedics from Hana responded along with a Kahului fire rescue crew.