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Lifeguards rescue 3 stand-up paddlers at Maui beaches

Maui lifeguards rescued three stand-up paddlers in two separate incidents in Kaanapali and Paia Sunday.

Shortly before 12:50 p.m. Sunday, a beachgoer called 911 after observing two stand-up paddlers on one board struggling to return to shore due to strong tradewinds in Kaanapali.

The paddlers, a married couple in their 40s visiting from Utah, were about a 100 yards off of Kahekili Beach Park when they faced 15 to 20 mph winds, said Fire Services Chief Edward Taomoto of the Maui Fire Department.

The couple attempted to paddle to shore but strong winds hampered their efforts. Taomoto said the beachgoer called 911 after observing the couple weren’t making any headway toward the shore.

The couple then tried to paddle toward an anchored sailboat when a lifeguard on a rescue watercraft arrived and brought them back to shore safely.

More than a half-hour later, a lifeguard rescued a 42-year-old woman in Paia after she became separated from her board.

Shortly after 1 p.m., Taomoto said firefighters responded to a report from a man at Paia Bay who said his wife was missing after they became separated during a stand-up paddle session from Maliko Bay to Kahului Harbor. He said he last saw her outside of the second reef break as they were passing Kuau Point. Taomoto said he stopped outside of Paia Bay to wait for her but she did not show up.

The man began looking for her and found her board adrift. Taomoto said he paddled to shore and called 911.

A lifeguard at Baldwin Beach Park on a watercraft found the woman’s paddle board about a half-mile off of Paia. He eventually spotted her swimming toward the shore with the assistance of divers about 100 yards near Tavares Bay.

A lifeguard brought her safely to shore at about 1:20 p.m. There were no reports of any injuries.

Taomoto said the woman described as an experienced paddler forgot to attach her leash to ankle. At some point during their stand-up paddle session, she fell off her board and was unable to grab it when the board drifted away from her.

Lifeguards had recovered her board.

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