Maui News

Missing Kayaker Found Exhausted, But Safe

July 24, 2018, 6:04 AM HST
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La Perouse / Image: Malika Dudley

A missing kayaker was found exhausted, but safe near LaPerouse Bay in South Maui on Monday evening.

The 30-year-old man was reported missing at around 5:10 p.m., when he failed to return as expected to Mākena Landing.

The missing kayaker had launched from Mākena Landing with plans to paddle to La Perouse and return.

Ladder 14 out of Wailea made contact with witnesses on shore and began a shoreline search with Rescue 10 aboard the department’s Air 1 helicopter conducting a search by air.

The crew aboard Air 1 was able to locate the kayak in question on shore approximately 1⁄4 mile west of LaPerouse Bay. Shortly after, Air 1 spotted the male kayaker on shore traversing the rough lava terrain making his way back to the roadway within the ʻĀhihi-Kinaʻu Natural Area Reserve. Air 1 maintained visual contact with the individual until Ladder 14 personnel could reach him by foot.


The man was reported to be physically exhausted, but in good condition. Firefighters provided the man footwear and escorted him to the roadway where friends and family were located. No further medical attention was needed.


The Maui Fire Department wants to remind the public that ocean conditions can change quickly, and it is important to be aware of your surroundings and personal limitations.

When participating in ocean activities such as skin diving, boating, kayaking, or paddleboarding, it is always important to provide family and/or friends a “float” or travel plan which includes your planned route and expected return time. Also, when feasible, having a means of communicating such as a cell phone can be crucial. In this instance, a basic float plan allowed friends to recognize something was wrong which initiated emergency action.

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