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Visitor swept away by rip current on Maui is rescued

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Maui fire rescue personnel rescued a 29-year-old visitor from Los Angeles who was swept away by a strong rip current in waters off Waianapanapa State Park today. 

The man was swimming with a female friend when rising surf pulled him out into deeper water, according to a Maui Fire Department release. The woman was able to make it safely back to shore. 

The park caretaker saw the incident and threw the man a boogie board to hang on to until help arrived. 

Firefighters responding to the 10:27 a.m. emergency call located the man about 50 yards offshore, just past the shoreline surf zone. A firefighter swam out and brought the man back to shore. 

However, rough surf put two others firefighters in danger during the rescue. 

The firefighters also responding to the emergency were aboard a watercraft when it was struck by a large wave. The firefighters were thrown into the water; the watercraft continued to be pushed by high surf until it was destroyed on the nearby rocky shoreline. 

Wave heights were estimated at 8 to 10 feet at the time. Neither firefighter was injured.

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