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Maui beaches claim six in two weeks

Six visitors have died in ocean incidents in less than two weeks on Maui, according to the Maui Fire Department.

Two of them happened on Friday, both off West Maui, MFD spokesman Edward Taomoto said today.

On Friday morning, a 52-year-old St. Paul, Minn. man was snorkeling with a group off Olowalu with the catamaran Teralani 2 when the crew noticed the man had not moved for a while and went to check. They found him floating facedown near the vessel and unresponsive. The crew brought him on board and began CPR.

Firefighters responded to Lahaina Harbor at 11:15 a.m. to meet the arriving catamaran. Firefighters boarded the vessel at 11:53 a.m. and took over CPR with paramedics, but the man died at the harbor.

Shortly before 1 p.m., a 62-year-old Salem, Ore. man was pulled from the ocean fronting Marriott Maui Ocean Club in Kaanapali.

He had been snorkeling near shore for less than five minutes when he was found floating facedown and unresponsive by a friend who was standing nearby in the water.

Beachgoers began CPR until first responders arrived. Firefighters and paramedics took over, but could not revive the man and he died at the beach.

Both victims were using a traditional two-piece mask and snorkel, Taomoto said.

The previous four victims died at South Maui beaches, Taomoto said.

On Wednesday, a 57-year-old Montgomery, Tex. man died at Oneuli Beach, also known as Black Sand Beach, in Makena.

Before he was pulled out of the ocean, he had been scuba diving alone for about an hour as a friend waited for him on the beach.

A pair of free divers swimming back to shore spotted him lying motionless on the sea floor about 30 yards from the beach in water about 10 feet deep. The divers retrieved the man, who still had his scuba gear on, and brought him to shore with the help of other snorkelers.

Lifeguards from Makena State Park arrived at 9:54 a.m., just as the man was being pulled onto the sand. Lifeguards, firefighters, and paramedics tried to revive the man, but he died at the scene.

On Monday, a Canadian man died at Ulua Beach in Wailea after losing consciousness in shallow water.

The man, a 66-year-old Saskatchewan resident, had been scuba diving with a family member, got out of the water briefly, and went back in to help family with gear when he became unresponsive.

On Jan. 20, a 67-year-old California man died at Kamaole Beach Park III in Kihei.

The Castro Valley man was snorkeling with friends at about 6 p.m. when he became unresponsive.

On Jan. 18, Bryan Beyer, 50, of Oakland, Calif., died after he was found unresponsive in knee-deep water, also at Kamaole. He had been snorkeling alone when beachgoers found him floating unresponsive in the water, facedown.

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