Maui News

Kayaker Airlifted, Stranded Overnight in Nāhiku

May 12, 2017, 7:53 AM HST
* Updated May 12, 7:55 AM
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On Tuesday morning, May 9, 2017, Firefighters rescued a 32-year-old Makawao man on Tuesday morning, who had become stranded overnight on a remote shoreline in Nāhiku.

The kayaker had launched from Nāhiku Landing by himself on Monday afternoon but ran into trouble when winds and ocean swells picked up drastically.  Fire officials say the man broke his paddle trying to navigate back to the landing and drifted downwind, eventually washing up on the remote rocky shoreline.

Hāna firefighters received the call at 6:36 a.m. on Tuesday, May 9, 2017, that someone was flashing a light to signal for help about a quarter-mile west of Nāhiku Landing.  Crews arrived at 7:10 a.m. to find the man waving his arms in distress.

The fire department’s Air-1 helicopter was brought in and landed on the shoreline.  A rescue crew from Kahului discovered that the man was uninjured and safely airlifted him to Nāhiku Landing at 7:50 a.m. He did not require medical attention.

Maui Fire Services Chief Edward Taomoto said a couple visiting from the mainland was at the landing watching the morning sunrise when they noticed a flashing light being directed at them. After seeing the man waving for help, they walked back to their nearby vacation rental and called 9-1-1.


FSC Taomoto said the man was not able to walk out because of the sheer cliffs and couldn’t use his cell phone because there was no signal. When he saw the couple early Tuesday morning, he used the light from his cell phone to get their attention.

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