MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - The rash of deaths in Maui waters continues.
Maui fire officials say there were nine water-related incidents, eight resulting in deaths, in the last two weeks. Seven of those occurred at a beach without lifeguards, and two involved local residents. The rest were visitors.
Since Friday alone, two visitors died while swimming off Maui, and another is in critical condition, all visitors from the mainland. The incidents are prompting emergency officials to preach caution in the water.
"The best thing people could do to be safe while snorkeling, if they haven't snorkeled before, they should always do that at a lifeguarded beach, talk to lifeguards before they go in, ask about concerns or anything dangerous at the beach. That will increase their chances of not becoming a statistic," Maui Fire Department spokesperson Edward Taomoto said.
On Friday, a 52-year-old Minnesota man was part of a snorkel cruise off Olowalu.
Crew members noticed the man had not moved and pulled him aboard shortly before 11:30 a.m. They performed CPR until first responders arrived, but efforts were unsuccessful.
The second snorkeler died shortly after 1 p.m. Saturday in Kaanapali.
The 62-year-old Oregon native was spotted by a friend floating in waters off the Marriott Maui Ocean Club. He was unable to be resuscitated.
And in Makena, a 71-year-old California man was snorkeling by himself about 100 yards off Maluaka Beach. Family and friends noticed he was not moving and alerted emergency crews who brought him to shore.
Paramedics rushed him to Maui Memorial Medical Center in critical condition.
The deaths have also raised concerns over the safety of full face snorkeling masks.
Two of the visitors who died were using the masks. Experts say full face gears increases the risk for water-related injuries and possibly death.