Maui News

Scuba Diver Dies in Apparent Drowning at Wailea

January 23, 2019, 11:33 AM HST
* Updated January 23, 11:36 AM
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A 69-year-old Kīhei man died in an apparent drowning in Wailea on Tuesday night, fire officials said.

The incident was reported at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019 at Ulua Beach in South Maui.

According to department reports, firefighters were called to the north end of the beach for reports of a diver in the water yelling for help. Upon arrival on scene, fire personnel located a male scuba diver who made his way to shore to get help for his dive partner.

Maui Fire Services Chief Rylan Yatsushiro said the diver reported that his partner was having difficulty and became unresponsive while in the water. He made several attempts at keeping him afloat, but was unsuccessful, said FSC Yatsushiro.

Two fire department personnel entered the water to begin searching for the submerged victim while another crew was already in the process of launching a jetski to assist.


Fire department rescue swimmers were able to make contact with other scuba divers in the vicinity who were able to assist with locating the victim, and help bring him to the surface, said FSC Yatsushiro.


Department officials say the fire department jetski unit was able to quickly bring him to shore for awaiting Medics and Fire personnel.

Despite lifesaving efforts, the victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

Engine and Ladder 14 from Wailea, and Rescue 10 from Kahului responded.


This was the second ocean death this week in South Maui. On Saturday, Jan. 19, a 64-year-old woman was pulled unresponsive from waters off Kamaʻole Point. She had been snorkeling with her husband at the location when the incident occurred.

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