Woman, man she tried to rescue die in apparent double drowning off Maui

Officials in Hawaii say two visitors from California died in a drowning near Maui on Thursday. (Source: KHNL/KGMB)
Published: Oct. 20, 2022 at 7:34 PM HST|Updated: Oct. 21, 2022 at 6:31 AM HST
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KEANAE (HawaiiNewsNow) - A woman is dead and so is the man she tried to rescue after an apparent double drowning off Maui on Thursday, officials said. Both victims were from California.

The Maui Fire Department said the 40-year-old man fell in the water around 12:30 p.m. near Keanae landing. The 42-year-old woman then jumped in to help the man but then also became distressed.

A good Samaritan rushed in to help as soon as he heard the woman was in distress.

Witness Kupaa Luat-Hueu recalled the moments leading up to the rescue.

“A bunch of tourists all around, yelling and point us to where she was,” Luat-Hueu recalled. “And I just put on my fins, my bodyboard, jumped into the water.”

Authorities said waves were up to 8 feet high at the time of the incident.

“The waves were so big and the current was kind of pulling me away from shore, I had to try, pull her with my arm onto my board and then make my way back in,” Luat-Hueu said.

He was able to pull the woman out of the waters but CPR was unsuccessful.

She was declared dead at the scene by medics.

Not too long after, firefighters found the man unresponsive and was able to extract him from the water. He was also pronounced dead at the scene.

Luat-Hueu said the area needs more signs warning beachgoers of the potential dangers.

This story may be updated.