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Captain of Molikini diving death speaks outUPDATED 8:53 PM HST Jul 23, 2014Video Transcript
the hectic moments leading up to the death of one his passengers. A Texas visitor died on a dive trip to Molokini Sunday. KITV4's Andrew Pereira spoke to him today and has new information... Andrew? Paula, Captain Charley Neal of Scuba Shack is still shaken up. He's not ready for an interview... But just a few days ago spoke out on Facebook. Kihei boat harbor suddenly became an active emergency scene Sunday morning ... An outing on the dive boat Double Scoop had just gone terribly wrong. Captain Charley Neal of Scuba Shack says he arrived at Molokini at about 6:20 a.m. with a group of six scuba divers and six snorklers. However, the calm conditions quickly changed. The following day on Scuba Shack's Facebook page Neal wrote... "After about 30 minutes what I would call a 'freak storm' rolled in and hit like a wall, 40- 60MPH winds, rain, and the ensuing 8-12 foot breaking waves." Neal says when his crew located 50-year-old Mark Strickert of Austin, Texas he was face down in the water, even though he was snorkeling with full floatation. The other passengers including Strickert's young son made it back onboard, but not 23-year-old Alana Osaki, one of three crew members. When she tied a rope around her waist to try and reach Strickert, the rope was pulled so tightly by the boat's engine that Osaki suffered internal injuries. Doppler radar images taken Sunday appear to corroborate Neal's story of a sudden storm. At about 6:20 a.m., a line of thunderstorms moves through the Molokini area. However the entire state was under a flash flood watch from the remnants of tropical storm Wali, and some have criticized Neal for not canceling the tour. On Facebook Neal wrote, "I would never put anyone's safety in jeopardy, ever." And "Our sympathy and prayers go out to family." Neal says Stickert had a "medical issue," but was cleared to go into the ocean. He also says Osaki is expected to make a full recovery. Strickert's family has returned to Austin, Texas where funeral services are scheduled on Saturday. The Coast Guard continues to investigate the incident... a cause of death has not been released. Yunji and a Paula.