Maui News

California Visitor Dies After Falling into Ocean at Waiʻānapanapa

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Waiʻānapanapa. File photo by Wendy Osher.

A 33-year-old California man was pulled from the ocean unresponsive after falling about 20 feet down a cliff into the water at Waiʻānapanapa in East Maui, Thursday afternoon.

Police say the man was standing on a cliff area when he fell into the ocean at around 4:42 p.m. on July 22, 2021.

According to department reports, rescue crews were unable to immediately retrieve the man due to high surf and strong currents. Rescue personnel lost visual contact as the currents pulled the man out to sea and below the surface.

Within a few minutes, aerial checks commenced, and after approximately an hour and 15 minutes, fire personnel were able to locate the victim, about 30 feet below the surface.

Once onshore, no life-saving measures were performed as medic personnel determined the man had passed.


A preliminary investigation shows no signs of foul play.


The investigation is ongoing and is currently classified as a miscellaneous fatal accident.

An autopsy has been scheduled.

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