Over the course of 11 days, 6 people drowned off Maui

2 recent drownings spur new concern over full-face snorkeling masks
Updated: Jan. 25, 2018 at 4:08 PM HST
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LAHAINA, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Six people have drowned off Maui beaches in less than two weeks.

The grim and startling toll includes several visitors, and has prompted officials to underscore the importance of water safety.

The six people who died since Jan. 14 include two snorkelers who were apparently wearing full-face masks.

The first drowning happened about 11:15 a.m. on Jan. 14 at Alaeloa Point in West Maui.

Authorities said a 47-year-old Maui man was fishing on the shoreline and somehow ended up in the water. A surfer brought him to shore.

Later that day, a 69-year-old Maui man drowned while swimming off the Four Seasons Resort at Wailea Beach. Bystanders pulled him to shore and started CPR, but it was unsuccessful.

On Jan. 18, a 50-year-old California man drowned while snorkeling off Kamaole Beach Park.

Three more drownings have happened since then, with the latest on Wednesday.

In that case, a 57-year-old visitor from Texas got into trouble while scuba diving off Black Sand Beach in Makena.

Drowning is annually among the leading causes of fatal injuries in Hawaii — and the leading cause of fatal injury among visitors.

Hawaii typically sees about 60 ocean drownings a year, according to the state Health Department.

This story will be updated.

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