On Sunday, July 1, at approximately 12:50 p.m., Maui County Fire Department firefighters along with a Maui County Ocean Safety Jetski unit responded to the south end of Keawakapu Beach for reports of multiple swimmers in distress.
On scene, MFD’s Ladder 14 crew (Wailea) confirmed 4 victims still in the water in need of assistance, with rough and windy conditions. Two MFD rescue swimmers were sent to make contact with the victims.
Three victims were found to be hanging on to a rescue tube, while another victim was being kept afloat on another rescue tube.
Fire personnel stayed with the victims and kept them calm until the Jetski unit arrived.
The Ocean Safety Jetski unit arrived shortly after and took three of the victims to shore while an Ocean Safety Lifeguard assisted by swimming the 4th victim back to shore.
All involved parties were fine and declined any medical attention.
The rescue tubes involved in this incident were placed on the beach as a community project funded and maintained by the Rotary Club of Kihei/Wailea. These donated rescue tubes are positioned at various beaches in South Maui and are meant to provide buoyancy for distressed swimmers until help can arrive.
MFD wants to remind the public that ocean conditions can change in an instant. It is important to pay close attention to your surroundings, and consult a lifeguard about ocean conditions if one is available.