Body of Opihi Picker Recovered in East Maui
A Maui man died on Thursday in an apparent drowning while picking opihi on the coastline in East Maui.
The 46-year-old Kahului man was found floating face-down in the water about 50 feet from shore on Thursday afternoon, Oct. 26, 2017.
The incident was reported at 1:21 p.m. by a tourist who was walking near the shoreline at Nāhiku Landing when he saw the victim yelling for help and waving his arms in the air. The tourist ran up Nāhiku Road and stopped at the nearest house to call for help. When he returned to the ocean 10 minutes later, fire officials say the victim was floating face-down.
Hāna crews arrived at 1:51 p.m. and brought the man back to shore, but because of the steep cliff area and large surf pounding the shoreline, crews had to rely on the fire department helicopter to remove the victim.
Air-1 was brought in and airlifted the victim to paramedics at the landing at 2:30 p.m. Paramedics assessed the victim but the man could not be resuscitated and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Fire officials say the victim was last seen at around 11 a.m. Thursday and was heard saying he was going to the shoreline to pick opihi.
A rescue crew from Kahului flew out in Air-1 and assisted in the recovery.