At 1:51 p.m. on Wednesday, March 7, 2018, emergency crews in East Maui responded to mile marker 21 on the Hana Highway for a person that fell into a pond and did not resurface.
At 2:26 p.m. firefighters arrived at West Wailua Iki Stream in Wailua and learned that a 27-year-old male had fallen into the pond while taking photos on the stream bank.
A friend jumped in to try to save him, but was not able to keep the man afloat without being pulled underwater by the victim.
Bystanders had to drive out in order to get cell phone reception to call 911 dispatchers.
The fire department’s Air-1 helicopter brought in fire rescue personnel who assisted Hana firefighters with searching the pond located next to the bridge on the mauka side of Hana Highway.
At around 3:00 p.m., divers recovered the victim and carried him up to the highway where paramedics assessed and pronounced the man dead at the scene.
The victim was found submerged at the bottom of the pond in about 10 feet of water.
Authorities say the man is a 27-year-old Maui native residing in Honolulu.
The incident is the 14th fatal drowning in Maui County this year, and the first this year to occur in a fresh water environment.
Firefighters, police, and paramedics from Hana, and a Kahului rescue crew responded to the incident.