Maui News

Minnesota Man Dies on Snorkel Cruise in Olowalu

January 27, 2018, 11:50 AM HST
* Updated January 29, 12:09 PM
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A 52-year-old man from Saint Paul, Minnesota died after being pulled unresponsive from waters off of Olowalu on Friday morning.

Fire officials say the man was in the water with other passengers on a snorkel cruise in West Maui when the incident occurred at 11:15 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018.

According to department reports, crew members aboard the Teralani 2 vessel noticed that the man, who was snorkeling in a group, had not moved for a while and went to check.

After finding the man floating face down and unresponsive near the vessel, the crew brought the man onboard and began administering CPR.

Fire officials say the victim was using a traditional two piece mask and snorkel.


Emergency crews responded to the Lahaina Harbor to await the arrival of the catamaran, and boarded the vessel to take over CPR at 11:53 a.m.


Paramedics and firefighters continued advanced life-saving measures on the male victim; however, despite all efforts the man could not be revived and was pronounced dead at the harbor.

Firefighters from Lahaina and a Kīhei paramedic crew responded to the incident.



For the ninth time in two weeks, a visitor has died while snorkeling or scuba diving in Maui waters.

The incident follows the death of a 50-year-old Nāpili man on Jan. 14, 2018.  The man, who had been fishing on the shoreline, was found unresponsive in a cove fronting a property at Alaeloa Point and was brought to shore by a surfer. Fire officials say he was transported from the scene in critical condition without a pulse and died while at the hospital.

Also on Jan. 14, 2018, a 69-year-old man from Kula, Maui was reported to be swimming (an unknown distance from shore) one moment and suddenly sank underwater. Bystanders reportedly pulled the victim to shore soon after and started immediate CPR. A fire crew took over CPR until Wailea medics arrived, but the victim could not be revived and was pronounced dead at scene.

Also in recent days, two California men died in Maui waters, a 50-year-old man from Oakland, California on Jan. 18, and a 67-year-old visitor from Castro Valley, California on Jan. 20 at Kamaʻole Beach Park III; the death of a 66-year-old visitor from Saskatchewan, Canada on Monday, Jan. 22, at Ulua Beach in Wailea; and a 57-year-old man from Montgomery, Texas was pulled unresponsive from waters at Oneuli Beach while scuba diving on Wednesday morning.

There were two scuba deaths on Maui on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018.  A 52-year-old man from Saint Paul, Minnesota died after being pulled unresponsive from waters off of Olowalu while on a snorkel cruise on Friday morning. The other involved 62-year-old male visitor from Salem, Oregon who died after he was found floating face down in the ocean in Kā‘anapali while snorkeling with a friend on Friday afternoon.

On Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018, a 71-year-old man from Berkeley, California was revived and transported to the hospital in critical condition after he was found floating face down while snorkeling in South Maui waters on Saturday.  *Update: The man has since died and marks the ninth death in two weeks on Maui since Jan. 14, 2018.

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