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Maui boatman Zane Schweitzer seriously injured in boating accident

Maui boatman Zane Schweitzer seriously injured in boating accident

Zane Schweitzer does Zane Schweitzer stuff. Photo: Starboard


The inertia

Talented Maui waterman Zane Schweitzer, who has been at the forefront of SUP surfing, foiling and big wave riding for years, was seriously injured in a boating accident this week. Schweitzer, whose family helped develop the sport of windsurfing, had apparently come off his board during a Channel crossing to train for an upcoming ocean race. He was watching a school of dolphins when he was accidentally hit by a support boat. He posted about the incident on Instagram:

“While paddling from Maliko to Kahului, we were surrounded by a group of Nai’a. Knowing our support boat was ahead and inside me, I got off my board to swim with the group as they passed by – it was beautiful. While I was on the surface watching the group underwater while I put my arm around my board, the boat and crew noticed the group as well. They must have noticed the group shortly after I got off my board because they made a U-turn to check the group. At that moment my VHF radio popped to the surface and I raised my head and arm to grab it and that’s when the boat hit my face. I was able to push off the bottom of the boat and that may have saved my life as I got a little deeper under the outboard motor, the leg and propeller pressed into my back and butt – I thought I was going to bleed to death. By God’s grace, the worst of my injury consists of small cuts on the propeller, stitches, a broken L1, hairline fractures on L10, L11 and L12, and a body that feels bruised from head to toe. I have never been so thankful that I can FEEL something, even if it is pain. I can feel, I have sensations and that pain means I can HEAL!! Nothing but love to everyone involved and I ask everyone to share the same Aloha with everyone involved in this accident.”

In October, Schweitzer won the Pan American Games in SUP surfing and also claimed the 2016 ISA World SUP Championship. Zane and his brother Matty were instrumental in organizing the recovery efforts after the tragic Maui fires. ESPN awarded the Maui surfing community the 2024 Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award, which will be presented at the ESPYs this week. Kai Lenny and Matty are in Los Angeles to accept the award.

The comments section on Zane’s post detailing his injury was filled with the who’s who of the surfing world, including Nathan Florence, Jamie Mitchell and others. “Wow,” wrote Kelly Slater. “Glad to hear the relatively good news considering it’s what it is. Get well soon! You’ll be back soon.”

Zane is married and has a one-year-old child. Get well soon, legend!