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Firefighters recover body from Hana freshwater caves

Maui firefighters recovered the body of a California visitor at the Waianapanapa Freshwater Caves in Hana.

At 12:54 p.m. Sunday, firefighters responded to a report of a 33-year-old man from Novato who was stuck in the caves after he dropped his light while exploring the area.

The Maui Fire Department said the victim was with three of his friends from Maui that afternoon. The group were swimming outside of the caves when the victim and one his friends decided to enter the enter and explore the caves.

While inside, they used light from a cell phone sealed in a plastic bag. The fire department said one of the males headed out of the cave and noticed his friend was missing. He returned to the cave to look for him but only found the cell phone.

The fire department said he left the area and called for help. A crew arrived at 1:04 p.m. They saw the victim submerged deeper within the cave and needed equipment to do an underwater recovery operation.

Firefighters retrieved additional equipment and more crew members joined in recovery efforts. Shortly after 5 p.m., a dive rescue team and the department’s Air 1 helicopter located the body of the victim approximately 75 feet from the cave’s entrance.

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