Coast Guard Auxiliary and Station Maui crews assist snorkeler off Maui

HONOLULU — A U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary member and rescue boat crew from Station Maui assisted an unresponsive snorkeler off a charter dive vessel near Molokini Crater Wednesday morning.

Donald Burns, a member of Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 14, received a call at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday from the master of the dive vessel Ocean Odyssey, who reported an unresponsive 35-year-old male snorkeler needing Coast Guard assistance. Burns immediately notified the watch stander at Station Maui, who launched a 25-foot rescue boat crew to the Ocean Odyssey, four miles southwest of Maui.

“This is not the first time Burns played an instrumental role in a rescue; very often, he is the first person people call when they’re in distress out here,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Brian Williams, Station Maui’s radio watch stander during the rescue.

The rescue boat crew from Station Maui arrived on scene at 9:14 a.m. and found the snorkeler unconsciousness.

“Luckily, a registered nurse and a physician were aboard the Ocean Odyssey to revive the snorkeler,” said Williams.

After the snorkeler was revived, the Coast Guard rescue boat crew transferred the snorkeler to their boat and swiftly transited to Kihei Boat Ramp where Maui Emergency Medical Services personnel were waiting with an ambulance.

“This could have gone a lot worse if it wasn’t for the Good Samaritans in this case,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Stewart MacDonald, Station Maui’s rescue boat crew coxswain. “It’s great to know we have people in this community who are willing to lend a helping hand.”

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