Maui News

Body of ‘Opihi Picker Recovered off West Maui

March 5, 2018, 6:30 AM HST
* Updated March 5, 6:34 AM
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Lifeguards recovered the body of an ʻopihi picker from the shoreline near Punalau Beach in the area often referred to as “Windmills Beach” in West Maui on Sunday, March, 4, 2018.

Maui Now file photo.

Fire officials say the 56-year-old Nāpili man was picking ʻopihi on the shoreline with a 28-year-old male relative when he was knocked off the rocks by a wave.

According to department reports, a bystander watching from the cliff above saw what was happening and called for help.  Fire officials say the relative also tried to help the victim get back up onto the rocks but wasn’t able to do so, so he went to call for help. The victim was last seen treading water before rescue crews got to him.

Emergency crews responding on watercraft found the man floating unresponsive about 150 feet from shore, about a half mile west of the beach location.

Firefighters and lifeguards recovered the man and transported him by watercraft to D.T. Fleming Beach Park where crews began CPR and advanced life-saving measures, but despite all efforts he died at the scene.


The incident was the 13th ocean related fatality in Maui waters this year.


The incident was reported at 11:51 a.m., and lifeguards arrived on scene at around 12:15 p.m. after responding to a previous rescue at Oneloa Beach in West Maui.

An engine company and a fire rescue boat from Lahaina, along with D.T. Fleming Beach Park lifeguards responded to the ocean rescue. Paramedics from Māʻalaea and Lahaina also responded.

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