Ten Paddlers Airlifted from Swamped Canoe in Kahului, Maui

March 11, 2018, 5:05 AM HST · Updated March 11, 5:10 AM
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Ten paddlers were airlifted to safety after the double-hulled canoe they were in got swamped about a half-mile north of the Kahului Harbor entrance.

A paddler from the canoe made the distress call at 5:09 p.m. on Friday, March 9, 2018.

Firefighters on shore spotted the canoe and its crew outside the harbor entrance at 5:23 p.m. and a rescue watercraft and the departments Air-1 helicopter responded to assist the crew with abandoning the boat and returning to shore.

All ten paddlers were safely airlifted to the west breakwater near the Kahului Boat Ramp by 6:30 p.m. There were no injuries.

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A rescue boat was launched and attempted to locate the canoe to tow it back into the harbor, but firefighters were unsuccessful in finding the canoe hull in darkness and rough seas. It was last seen floating just below the surface and drifting towards shore on the north side of the west breakwater.

The US Coast Guard has been notified of the adrift canoe and will issue a notice to mariners of the hazard.

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