Maui News

Can’t Speak English, Can’t Swim: Close Call at Baldwin Beach

July 6, 2015, 12:51 PM HST
* Updated July 6, 3:03 PM
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Kalani Prince was on the scene of a near drowning at Baldwin Beach at approximately 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 5.

By Debra Lordan

Maui Now videographer Kalani Prince was on the scene of a near-drowning at Baldwin Beach at approximately 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 5.

Prince reported that a man in his mid-30s on a boogie board in the middle of the cove bay at Baldwin Beach apparently began crying out for help in a foreign language.

The beach-goers he was with were within five feet of him in the water as he began to splash his way toward shore, continuing to cry for help.

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“The group continued heading to shore, while people on the beach, including myself, began to wonder if this was serious or a prank,” said Prince.

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“His continued pleas for help were screamed in nearly indistinguishable English–nobody jumped in the water as he teetered on his boogie board,” said Prince. “Still, everyone on the beach was now focusing on him. As his friends reached shore, he began to go into full panic mode when he realized that nobody was jumping in to save him.”

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When his friends reached the beach and began pointing at him and gesturing to other beach-goers, the boogie-boarder flipped off the board and went under water, Prince reported.

About 15 seconds passed before three men on the beach went in after him and carried him back to safe ground, said Prince.

He was conscious and breathing, but couldn’t walk,” said Prince.

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An ambulance arrived and tended to the would-be boogie-boarder.

“He breathed in a bunch of salt water when he went under,” said Prince. “But he was actually able to walk out with them to get checked out.”

“Everyone on the beach shared the same confusion,” said Prince, “probably because he was boogie-boarding, he couldn’t swim and he couldn’t speak English, either.”
More information will be made available as the Maui Fire Department and Maui Police Department respond to Maui Now’s inquiries.
Kalani Prince was on the scene of a near drowning at Baldwin Beach at approximately 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 5.

Kalani Prince was on the scene of a near drowning at Baldwin Beach at approximately 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 5.

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Kalani Prince was on the scene of a near drowning at Baldwin Beach at approximately 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 5.

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Kalani Prince was on the scene of a near drowning at Baldwin Beach at approximately 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 5.

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Kalani Prince was on the scene of a near drowning at Baldwin Beach at approximately 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 5.

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Kalani Prince was on the scene of a near drowning at Baldwin Beach at approximately 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 5.

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Kalani Prince was on the scene of a near drowning at Baldwin Beach at approximately 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 5.

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Kalani Prince was on the scene of a near drowning at Baldwin Beach at approximately 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 5.

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Kalani Prince was on the scene of a near drowning at Baldwin Beach at approximately 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 5.

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Kalani Prince was on the scene of a near drowning at Baldwin Beach at approximately 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 5.

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Kalani Prince was on the scene of a near drowning at Baldwin Beach at approximately 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 5.

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Kalani Prince was on the scene of a near drowning at Baldwin Beach at approximately 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 5.

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