26-Year-Old California Woman Dies in East Maui Flash Flood at Waioka

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By Wendy Osher


February 18, 2021, 3:44 PM HST
* Updated February 19, 9:13 AM

A 26-year-old woman from Vista, California died during a flash flood at Waioka Pond in Hāna, Maui.

The incident was reported at 9:56 a.m. at the area sometimes referred to as “Venus Pond” in East Maui.

Fire personnel from Engine 7 and Rescue 10 aboard the department’s Air 1 helicopter responded to reports of multiple swimmers that were swept out of Waioka Pond and into the ocean during a flash flood event.

Maui Fire Services Chief Rylan Yatsushiro said crews were able to confirm that two swimmers were able to climb to safety and avoid being swept into the ocean.

A third individual was swept into the ocean, but was able to swim back to shore safely.

One person was reported missing and was last seen clinging to rocks as the flash flood pushed through the pond.

Fire crews responding to the swift water rescue event conducted an extensive search by land and air.

Engine 7 personnel, with the help of local residents were able to locate the victim unresponsive on the rocky shoreline at approximately 1:30 p.m.

Air 1 airlifted the victim to awaiting Medics where she was pronounced dead at the scene, according to department reports. Crews concluded their response at 2:14 p.m.

Maui was under a flash flood advisory at the time of the incident and first responders report that ocean and weather conditions were stormy at the time.

The Maui Fire Department invites residents and visitors alike to view the following link online for helpful information regarding precautions to take while hiking any of Maui’s natural sites.

A previous version of this story is posted here.