Maui boat captain talks about Molokini drowning on Facebook

10pm Report: Texas visitor dies during Molokini snorkel
Molokini Island
Molokini Island

The Coast Guard continues to investigate the circumstances that led to a tourist's death at Molokini off Maui on Sunday. The victim has been identified as 50-year-old Mark Strickert of Austin, Texas.

MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Police say he was one of 15 people aboard the 'Double Scoop' a tour boat operated by Scuba Shack.

Owner/Captain Charley Neal says six divers and six snorkelers were in the water for 30 minutes when, "a freak storm rolled in and hit like a wall, 40-60MPH winds, rain, and 8-12 foot breaking waves."

Neal says everyone scrambled to get out of the water. But a father, who was swimming with his son, was spotted face down.

The Coast Guard recovered his body and is now investigating what went wrong.

"We investigate to determine if there was any act of misconduct or incompetence, negligence or unskillfulness or willful violations of law by a person that contributed to this casualty," said Lt. Cmdr Bill Taylor, Senior Investigating Officer of Coast Guard Sector Honolulu.

We have also learned that there were almost two casualties.

Neal says a crew member named Alana wrapped a rope around her waist and dove in attempting rescue. But the rope got sucked into the boat's engine and squeezed her so tightly she suffered internal injuries, and remains hospitalized.

"It was by far and away the worst day of my life," Neal says. "It was far worse for others involved."

The captain says he's been getting hate mail and threats. He says he posted the story online because he owes an explanation and wants everyone to know he did the best he could.

Read Charley Neal's Facebook post:

So… Everyone wants to know what happened yesterday.

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