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BREAKING/UPDATE: Maui Diver Struck by Boat Dies of Injuries

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   December 29th, 2011 · 4 Disqus Comments ·
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· Maui News

By Wendy Osher

(Update: 8 p.m. 12/29/11)

The paddling community is mourning the loss of a longtime member after William “Kalanikai” Gonzales was struck by a small boat in waters off of West Maui today.  Gonzales suffered fatal injuries in the incident.  It’s believed he was preparing lanes for paddlers to use in canoe practice at the time of the incident. ***An UPDATED STORY is now posted.

(Update: 3:15 p.m. 12/29/11)

Maui police say a Lahaina man who was struck by a boat while diving in waters off of West Maui has since died of his injuries.

The man has since been identified as 60-year-old William Gonzales.

According to Maui Police Lt. Wayne Ibarra, Gonzales was diving in waters off of Wahikuli Wayside Park near Hanakaoo in Lahaina, when he was accidentally struck by a 19-foot ski-boat recreational watercraft.

Gonzales sustained injuries to both legs as a result of the incident, reported at around 11:30 a.m.

He was transported to shore by a Lifeguard jet ski and then transported by medics to the Maui Memorial Medical Center, where Maui police say he succumbed to his injuries and expired.

(Posted: 12:58 p.m. 12/29/11)

A 60-year-old Lahaina man suffered critical, life-threatening injuries, after being struck by a boat while diving in West Maui.

The incident was reported at 11:32 a.m. on Thursday, December 29, 2011, at Hanakaoo Beach.

Maui Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga said the man was hit by a 19-foot privately owned boat, while diving about 200 yards off-shore.

According to Mainaga, the man suffered injuries to his lower extremities.

First responders brought the man to shore aboard the department’s Jet Ski, and transported the man by ambulance to the hospital.

Also responding to the scene was Engine 3, Ladder 3 and Jet Ski three, all from Lahaina.

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  • Litunta

    First of all Uncle Billy doesn’t snorkel, let alone 200 yards out, so get your facts straight.  He was either diving, fishing, or laying flags.  The privately owned boat should be held accountable, for this has been another careless incident where an innocent bystander has been killed due to reckless behavior!

    • Maui Now Staff

      Aloha Litunta.  Our thoughts go out to the Gonzales ‘ohana.  We are deeply sorry for your loss, and the impact on Uncle’s family and the community.  When the incident first occurred, we were told it was snorkeling, but we have since received confirmation that it was a diving incident. Thank you for your comments.

  • Dean Mehew

    Kalani was one the greatest men Ive ever met anywhere across this planet.  When I moved to Maui and worked at the sheraton he reached out to this so called “haole” and recognized the good in me and I was forever connected to him as a man that I respected as an elder…his smile, his solidness, his strength of spirit, all equaled with kindness…..the kind of man that young men see in action as wish to become in our older age.  I watched him dive hundreds of times while at work and swam on my breaks trying to mimic  his ceremonial dive.  If I grow old to become half the man he was then my life will be more then complete.  “Kalani, when my wounds heal I’ll be atop the rock sharing my heart, wishing you well…..your spirit will forever live in my soul”   KKRIP

  • Dakine

    Divers, please always remember to use a dive flag.  So important!


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