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Woman survives near drowning; family is seeking teen rescuer

Mystery girl, 15, spotted woman in distress, dived in, pulled her up

The Maui News

A woman who was taken to the hospital in critical condition in a near-drowning incident at Honolua Bay has survived, according to her family.

“She’s not only survived, nurses and doctors said she’s one of the luckiest people they’ve had come into the hospital,” son Jeffrey Shiau said Monday.

Shiau’s mother, 65-year-old Jiin Hwa Shiau, was snorkeling at Honolua Bay on Wednesday. Emergency crews got a call about a possible drowning there at 11:47 a.m. A lifeguard brought her to shore aboard a rescue watercraft, where firefighters and medics were waiting, according to the Maui Fire Department. She was assessed and transported by ambulance to Maui Memorial Medical Center.

Jeffrey Shiau declined to say what happened to his mother while she was snorkeling, but he said the family wanted to thank the 15-year-old girl who first spotted his mother in trouble, jumped in and pulled her up.

He asked that if anyone knows the girl’s name, that they reach out to him at jeffrey@empathyhaus.com.

Both mother and son are from the San Francisco Bay Area. Jeffrey Shiau said his mother is “already joking about going snorkeling next week,” though he said that’s not going to happen. She also has some recovery ahead, but “all things considered, it’s just a miracle.”