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3 rescued on Maui after paddleboarding troubles

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

Shortly before 12:50 p.m. 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, got into trouble about 100 yards off Kahekili Beach Park, said Fire Serv­ices Chief Edward Taomoto.

The couple attempted to paddle to shore, but wind of 15 to 20 mph hampered their efforts. 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 the man 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. He paddled to shore and called 911, Taomoto said.

A lifeguard from Baldwin Beach Park on a watercraft found the woman’s paddleboard about a half-mile off Paia. He eventually spotted her swimming toward shore with the assistance of divers about 100 yards from 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 her ankle. At some point during their session, she fell off her board and was unable to grab it when it drifted away from her.

Lifeguards recovered her board.

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