At 9:49 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, emergency crews in South Maui responded to Oneuli Beach, also known as Black Sand Beach, in Makena, for an unresponsive person being brought to shore.
Lifeguards from Makena State Park arrived at 9:54 a.m. just as bystanders reached the beach with a male victim. Lifeguards administered CPR until fire and paramedic crews arrived a short time later. Despite all life-saving efforts, rescue crews could not resuscitate the man and the victim died at the scene.
The male victim is a 57-year-old visitor from Montgomery, Texas.
The Texas man had gone scuba diving alone about an hour earlier. The victim’s friend remained on shore and waited for him on the beach. It’s unknown what went wrong, but a pair of free divers were on their way in to the beach when one of them spotted the victim lying motionless on the sea floor. The man was found about 30 yards from shore and in around 10 feet of water. The man still had on all of his scuba gear.
The divers signaled to people on shore that help was needed, then retrieved the man from the ocean bottom and swam him to shore. Other snorkelers nearby also assisted.
Firefighters and paramedics from Wailea and Kihei responded along with Makena State Park lifeguards.