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UPDATE: Search Continues for Missing Snorkeler in Mākena, Maui

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Coast Guard Search by land and sea off of Mākena, Maui. (Dec. 14, 2021) VC: Dina Ruiz

Update: 10:51 a.m. Dec. 15, 2021

The search continues today for a missing snorkeler off of “Chang’s Beach” in Mākena.

The 62-year-old man from Wisconsin was reported missing at around 3:34 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021.

Sector Honolulu watchstanders received a report from Coast Guard Station Maui stating they received a call from the snorkeler’s family who said he was overdue. The man was last seen rounding the point on the South end of “Chang’s Beach” off the Mākena Surf Resort at 12:30 p.m.

The man was last seen wearing black shorts, no top, green and black fins, with a full-face snorkel mask. He is described as being 6-foot 2-inches and weighing between 195 to 215 pounds.


Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sector Honolulu command center at 808-842-2600


Maui Fire Department crews launched a search by air, land and sea yesterday afternoon. MFD helicopter and jet ski units remained on site until darkness fell. Coast Guard crews continued to search utilizing a helicopter and rescue boat into the evening hours. Ground searches by the Maui Fire Department continued throughout the night.

Air and water based searches resumed this morning (Dec. 15, 2021) at first light.

This morning, rescue divers needed to exit the water because a large tiger shark was spotted in the area. Searches will continue today.


Water conditions are choppy, with winds are blowing at approximately 15-20 mph.

Responding MFD units include: Ladder 14, Rescue 10 on Air 1 and Rescue Boat 10, Engine 14, Jet Ski 6, and Jet Ski 10. Also on scene are:

  • Air Station Barbers Point MH-65 Dolphin Helicopter aircrews
  • A Navy Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 37 MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter crew
  • Coast Guard Station Maui 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crews
  • The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Gerczak (WPC 1126)

Previous Post: Dec. 14, 2021

The search by land and sea continues for a missing snorkeler in waters off of South Maui, in an area south of the Fairmont Kea Lani hotel and makai of Mākena Road.

A Coast Guard helicopter and boat crew have been patrolling the waters for more than two hours, according to bystanders.

Witnesses say a helicopter has been circling at Mākena Landing and then back up toward Palauea Beach. The agency’s boat has been searching near shore with a blue light-siren seen from shore.

As of 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 14, air and sea assets continued the search in darkness.

The National Weather Service has extended a Small Craft Advisory posted for the Pailolo Channel, ʻAlenuihāhā Channel between Hawaiʻi Island and Maui, and Big Island leeward waters until 6 a.m. on Thursday. The advisory was posted at 3:17 on Tuesday afternoon. This includes east winds blowing up to 25 knots and seas of 9-11 feet.

The NWS advises that conditions can be hazardous to small craft. Inexperienced mariners, especially those operating smaller vessels, should avoid navigating in these conditions.

Further details are forthcoming.

*This post will be updated as more information becomes available.

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