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Japanese visitor pulled from ocean on Maui dies

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A 74-year-old Japanese visitor becomes the 12th person to die in an ocean-related activity on Maui in the first seven weeks of this year.

Maui Fire Services Chief Ed Taomoto said the man, visiting from Tokyo, was spotted swimming at a Kaanapali beach fronting the Sheraton Maui Resort, while holding onto an infant’s flotation device designed for pool use.

The man was swimming on the south side of Puu Kekaa or Black Rock, about 100 feet out from shore in an area that is calm, sheltered from the wind and inside the current line. “It was like a lake,” Taomoto said.

Bystanders found the man floating face down, grabbed him and pulled him to shore, where they began CPR. Firefighters continued CPR, until paramedics arrived. Paramedics continued life-saving techniques and transported him to the hospital.

Taomoto said he was taken in critical condition to Maui Memorial Medical Center and died either on the way to or at the hospital.

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