Lifeguards overworked and underfunded:
Maui lifeguards do a terrific job, but they are overworked, underfunded, and spread very thin. The vast majority of Maui’s beaches are unprotected by lifeguards. The public has been asking for more lifeguards, especially at black spots (like Blackrock) for years, but it still hasn’t happened. Sadly, Lifeguards cannot guarantee public safety, because people still have accidents and fatalities in lifeguarded areas. Currently there are also many of Maui County’s mandated swim zones which are unpatrolled and unattended because of lack of manpower.
Bystanders and good Samaritans:
The vast majority of ocean accidents and incidents will occur outside of lifeguarded areas. So the first responders in the overwhelming majority of cases are bystanders and good Samaritans. Often it is the other people on site that will alert EMS and bring victims to shore, and in many cases initiate CPR until EMS arrives.