50 Rescued From Whale-Watching Vessel Off Maui

LAHAINA, Maui — The U.S. Coast Guard helped rescue 50 persons from a whale-watching vessel off Kahana Beach, Maui yesterday.

One person died when the 55-foot Kiele V lost its mast about two miles off Kahana Beach, near Kaanapali, Maui. Fifty people were rescued after the vessel called for help at 5:50 p.m. Sunday.

The Coast Guard partnered with the Maui Fire Department and a good samaritan to bring the survivors to shore. The Coast Guard’s Polar Sea, a 399-foot ice breaker, is moored near Lahaina and launched its small boat to respond to the Kiele V’s distress call. In addition, a 47-foot motor lifeboat from Station Maui at Maalaea Harbor responded to the call for help.

A HH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Barbers Point Air Station helped all the units on scene communicate with one another.

The Kiele V is a whale-watching vessel owned by Hyatt and regularly runs ocean tours along the coastline near Kaanapali. The vessel carries 47 passengers and four crew members.

The accident is under investigation and information about the deceased will not be released until next of kin have been notified and the Coast Guard concludes its investigation.

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