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Paddleboarder, 51, rescued 1 mile off coast of Maui

  • VIDEO COURTESY U.S. COAST GUARD

    The Maui Fire Department and U.S. Coast Guard rescued a 51-year-old paddleboarder Friday morning.

  • COURTESY COAST GUARD
                                Maui Fire Department’s Air 1 helicopter airlifted a 51-year-old paddleboarder to safety this morning.

    COURTESY COAST GUARD

    Maui Fire Department’s Air 1 helicopter airlifted a 51-year-old paddleboarder to safety this morning.

  • CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                U.S. Coast Guard auxiliary observer Eduardo Vitorino was on the airplane which found the missing paddleboarder.

    CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM

    U.S. Coast Guard auxiliary observer Eduardo Vitorino was on the airplane which found the missing paddleboarder.

The Maui Fire Department and U.S. Coast Guard rescued a paddleboarder this morning, nearly 12 hours after she was reported missing in Olowalu Thursday night.

Fire rescue crews responded to reports of a missing paddleboarder, a 51-year-old Napili woman, at about 8 p.m.

The paddleboarder was last seen 100 yards off Olowalu Beach wearing a blue rash guard, black leggings and a blue personal flotation device.

The fire department said crews searched the land and sea throughout the night with the assistance of the Coast Guard.

Strong offshore winds were reported in the area at the time.

At dawn today, the fire department’s Air 1 helicopter continued their search when a Coast Guard Auxiliary air crew spotted a woman approximately one mile off Ukumehame Beach Park at about 7:30 a.m.

Eduardo Vitorino of the Coast Guard Auxiliary said they were flying at an altitude of 1,000 feet above the surface of the water when he saw the woman sitting on a paddleboard after flashes of light, possibly from a signal mirror, that caught his attention.

The fire department’s Air 1 helicopter crew were notified and deployed a rescue swimmer to the area.

The helicopter crew hoisted her out of the water and took her to awaiting medics onshore. The fire department said the exhausted paddleboarder was in stable condition.

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