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Minnesota man dead following Maui snorkeling incident

By Rob Shikina

LAST UPDATED: 4:39 p.m. HST, Jul 10, 2010


A 53-year-old Minnesota man died Friday after he was found unconscious during a snorkeling tour at Molokini Crater.

A Maui County medical examiner’s assistant identified the man as Joel Fritze of Hayfield, Minn. Fritze died at 11:02 a.m. An autopsy is scheduled for Monday, the assistant said.

The Coast Guard received a call about 9:15 a.m. Friday about a snorkeler found unconscious and face-down in the water at Molokini Crater, Coast Guard spokeswoman Angela Henderson said.

A 45-foot patrol boat from Station Maui arrived at the scene about 9:45 a.m. and discovered people administering CPR to the man on a tour boat, Henderson said.

The patrol boat transferred the man to paramedics at Kihei Boat Ramp about 10 a.m., she said.

Chris Kasper, general manager of Boss Frog’s Dive and Surf, confirmed the man had been on the company’s vessel Frogman II.

Kasper said he didn’t know what happened and declined futher comment.

According to the website, Frogman II is a 55-foot power catamaran that holds up to 66 passengers. The vessel travels to Molokini Crater and Turtle Town.

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