How to Support the Maui Dive Community

How the Lahaina dive community has been affected and what we can do to support
By Jenna Szerlag

A Message from the Editor: Underwater Photography Guide editor, Jenna Szerlag, is an active Maui diver and Resident. We are publishing this statement to help educate divers on what they can do to help the Maui dive community in light of the August 8 tragedy.  

On Tuesday, August 8th, several wildfires occurred on the island of Maui. In the upcountry rural area of Kula, hundreds of acres burned along with multiple homes. In the coastal resort town of Lahaina on Maui’s west side, the unimaginable happened. A wind driven fire raged through the historic town turning an entire community to ash. 

Saying we are devastated is an understatement. 

It is with compassion that we allow Lahaina to start healing from this tragedy. Travel to West Maui is discouraged not only for safety and investigative needs but so the hotels and other resources are available to the residents who lost everything including their homes. Maui has long depended on tourism and the local businesses in Kihei, Wailea and the North Shore still need visitor support. South side dive shops are open and boats are running daily trips from Maalaea and Kihei to Molokini Crater and other south shore sites. We are encouraging those who have upcoming travel plans to Maui to consider postponing instead of canceling their trips altogether.

The outpouring of love and support is being felt from all over. Several donation websites have been set up to support our dive professionals affected by the fire. You can make a difference by donating, sharing the links below or just sending kindness with a positive thought. 

Lahaina Divers, Extended Horizons, and Maui Diving are Lahaina based dive operations that lost everything in the fire. Their stories can be read via each individual link.  

Click here to support Maui Dive Professionals in need through GoFund Me organized by PADI and the Ako'ako'a Foundation. 



As a long-time Hawaii resident, Jenna moved to Maui in 2002 to pursue her interest in diving. Discovering the beauty of the islands and the desire to show it to the world led Jenna into her passion for nature photography. She pursued her education by attending hands-on workshops and conferences with respected educators mastering the camera topside before taking her photography underwater.  

Jenna is a certified Hawaii Marine Naturalist and enjoys travel and adventure. Her images have been published in Forbes Magazine, Travel and Leisure, calendars and several other publications. She has been a professional contributor for Pacific Stock since 2012, the largest worldwide curated stock photography agency exclusive to the Hawaii and Asia Pacific Regions. You can find her images at and on Instagram @seaofphotos.



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