UPDATE: Molokaʻi Mariner Recovered off Kamalō Wharf
By Maui Now Staff
A 62-year-old man from Molokaʻi was pulled from waters near Kamalō Wharf after a witness reported the man’s boat drifting downwind without an operator aboard.
Maui police have since identified the man as Melvin L. Paoa.
The incident was reported at 12:21 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015.
Fire officials say they were called to search for the drifting boat and its operator near the Kamalō Wharf, in East Molokaʻi.
Crews from the Pūkoʻo station arrived at 12:37 p.m. and learned that a man was last seen securing his 26 foot catamaran near the wharf. Sometime later, a witness saw the boat drifting downwind but did not see the operator aboard and called for help, said Maui Fire Services Officer Edward Taomoto.
Fire official say a rescue watercraft from Kaunakakai found the vessel just downwind of the wharf with no one aboard, and a search was initiated for the missing operator.
At around 1 p.m., fire crews on rescue watercraft found the male operator unresponsive and not breathing about 300 yards offshore and 300 yards downwind of Kamalō Wharf, according to MFSO Taomoto.
The man was brought to shore at the wharf where emergency responders performed life-saving efforts, and was transported by ambulance to Molokaʻi General Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead, according to fire officials.
Rescue watercraft from Kaunakakai and Hoʻolehua, along with Air 1 and Rescue 10 out of Kahului all responded in assisting Pūkoʻo firefighters.