Day after double drowning, Maui residents raise alarm about hazardous shoreline

Some still aren't listening. They say there's no signage indicating that they can't enter.
Published: Oct. 21, 2022 at 6:21 PM HST|Updated: Oct. 22, 2022 at 9:02 AM HST
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KEANAE (HawaiiNewsNow) - Less than 24 hours after two people died at Keanae Landing, a family with young children was seen playing on wet rocks.

“You guys all need to come out of there,” shouted Kelly Luat-Hueu on Friday morning.

Kelly and his family put up caution tape around the area on Thursday after two visitors from California drowned.

Kelly’s son Kupaa jumped into the raging ocean that afternoon to try to save their lives.

“As I was yelling to everyone, ‘Don’t let him go in the water!’ He was already in the water,” said Kupaa’s mother Tammy.

“So, all I could do at that point was pray that he was going to get out of the water safely.”

Kelly got emotional Friday morning thinking about his son’s courage and willingness to help strangers.

“Trust in him, believe in him, because I know he can,” Kelly said.

“I’m not just gonna watch a lady, or a man, family or not, just drowned when I know I’m capable of getting that person,” Kupa’a said.

“It was just something telling me in my na’au (heart) to just go get that person and do my best to bring them back.”

The Luat-Hueu family says the sea on Thursday was extremely rough and no one should have been anywhere near the water.

“The waves were so huge. They’re like mountains. I was so scared for him,” Tammy said. “I wanted her to survive, but I wanted my son out of that water.”

The family says this was not the first time visitors have drowned at Keanae Landing. They also said it’s not the first time that their family has jumped in to try to save someone.

They are doing all that they can to keep people away from the rocks and out of the ocean, but some still don’t heed their warnings.

“It doesn’t say, ‘Do not enter,’” one visitor told Kelly pointing to the caution tape he put up.

The Luat-Hueu ‘ohana says they want visitors to enjoy their backyard, but they also want them to go home safely to their families.

“Respect the locals, respect the people and if we’re telling you something, listen, because we know this place. And if you’re not going to respect us, you better respect the ocean, or you better respect the rivers or streams,” Kupa’a said.

“It’s sad that this happened. So, rest in peace to those two people, but I hope this will be a lesson for everybody to respect the ocean.”

Authorities have not identified the couple who drowned.

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