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Ocean Rescue at Camp Pecusa, Olowalu

Posted February 8, 2013, 10:02 AM HST
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West Maui Honoapiilani erosion, file photo by Wendy Osher.

File photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

Three people were rescued from waters off of Camp Pecusa in Olowalu last night after their kayaks became stranded in the reef during the evening’s low-tide. 

The incident was reported at 8:15 p.m. on Thursday, February 7, 2013, about 200 yards offshore.

One of the kayaks became stuck in the exposed reef, took on water, and was abandoned during the incident, said Maui Fire Prevention Bureau Captain, and acting Public Information Officer, Paul Haake. 

A firefighter from Engine 3 out of Lahaina used a rescue board  to negotiate the coral, and towed all three in under his power to shore by 9 p.m., said Capt. Haake. 

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The individuals, identified as a man in his late 50s, and two women (one in her late 40s, and the other 30-years-old), were reported to be cold and tired, but uninjured. 

Authorities say the group called for help via cell phone.  When crews from Engine 3 arrived on scene, they established contact via cell phone, and later pinpointed their location in the darkness via voice and lights.

The abandoned kayak was located by those aboard a passing fishing vessel, and was brought to shore along the Honoapiilani Highway, eliminating the need to notify the US Coast Guard of an unoccupied vessel adrift, said Capt. Haake.

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