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Opihi picker pulled from water off Maui in critical condition


    Maui firefighters conduct a search in the area of the Olivine Pools in February.

A 33-year-old opihi picker was found unresponsive today in rough waters at the Olivine Pools in Kahakuloa, Maui.

The Maui Fire Department responded at 12:07 p.m. to reports of two people needing help near mile marker 16 on Kahekili Highway.

The Fire Department dispatched its helicopter and a rescue crew on board spotted the two men at about 12:30 p.m. 75 yards from shore.

The 33-year-old Waiehu man was found floating face down, while a 38-year-old Honokowai man was floating on a boogie board and did not require medical attention.

They were airlifted to Kahekili Highway, where cardiopulmonary resuscitation was performed on the 33-year-old, who was taken in critical condition by ambulance to the Maui Memorial Medical Center.

Fire officials said the two men were picking opihi on the rocks along the shore when a large wave knocked the Waiehu man into the ocean.

The man tried to make his way back to shore when the friend jumped in to help him.

The two men got separated in rough, choppy waters when the Waiehu man went unconscious.

Bystanders at the Olivine Pools heard the men’s call for help and threw in three boogie boards, but the Waiehu man could not get to one.

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