In A Blink Of An Eye – Accident In Maui Channel Swim

Reports from yesterday’s Maui Channel Swim from the Oak Streakers tell of a very unfortunate accident where a boater, passing through swimmers towards the end of the 9.6-mile race, hit John Caughlin. The 41-year-old swimmer from Half Moon Bay (California) who does a number of swims in California and Hawaii had been training all year for the challenging 9.6-mile as a solo swimmer.

Swimming partner Mike Mitchell was right next to him when it happened and saw the accident. He told friends that John was sucked under the boat and when held up his hand, there was nothing left but skin. Other witnesses reported that the 28-foot boat was in the way of swimmers and then made a sudden turn and hit John.

John was taken by Jet ski to shore and underwent surgery for eight hours at Maui Memorial Hospital. According to the latest reports from the hospital, the attending physician said John’s right arm just above the elbow had to be amputated due to severe vascular damage and his left hand was reattached, but his thumb and index finger are gone.

The Maui Police Department confirmed the Coast Guard, Maui Police Department and the Department of Land and Natural Resources were investigating the matter.

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Steven Munatones