By Jeff King
What was likely expected by all to be a relaxing day off for the President’s Day holiday Monday turned tragic for some local residents and visitors. Tragedies marred an otherwise sunny day along Maui coastlines.
Around noon Monday, 18 year-old Edelene Parilla and 19 year-old Emmanuel Tabbay, both residents of Kahului, were at an area known as “Chutes and Ladders” at Honokohau Bay off Maui’s northwest shore. The two were accompanied with two other friends.
All four parties were walking along the rocks near the shore line to see the tide pools. Parilla was swept out into the ocean by a wave at which time Tabbay jumped in to the ocean help her. A friend was able to find a bystander to call for emergency assistance. Rescue personnel responded to the scene. Both Parilla and Tabay were located in the ocean, but, no signs of life. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.
While the apparent cause of death appears to be drowning, the official cause of death is still pending autopsy results.
About three hours later, at 3:08 p.m., firefighters from Wailea responded to a report of a non-responsive person in the water fronting the beach at Makena Beach and Golf Resort. A 53 year-old visitor was seen floating motionless for a time after snorkeling with his wife. A safety check revealed he was not conscious. Bystanders pulled the man from the water and began CPR.
Firefighters took over the effort upon arrival but were unable to bring the man back to life. His identity and place of residence have not yet been released.
Then – less than a half-hour later – at 3:32 p.m., firefighters responded to a similar report in Ka’anapali. A man was reported floating face-down in the ocean fronting the Ka’anapali Ocean Resort. The man, visiting from Coltsneck, NJ, was unresponsive when bystanders reached him.
Paramedics and firefighters administered CPR and the man responded. He was transported to Maui Memorial Medical Center in critical condition.
Ironically, it was the first responders from Kihei and Kahului who responded to the incident while they were replacing crews from Lahaina and Napili who were involved in the “Chutes and Ladders” ocean search and recovery.