Found Maui Hero

Updated on:
August 17, 2023

Newest Maui Article: Road to Hana

There’s too much anger and wasted energy happening around events on Maui. We need to concentrate on taking care of our people before we dig into what has gone wrong so far. Instead of taking your break to doom-scroll, read this incredible story of a Maui hero that saved a family’s life.

“I recently traveled to Maui with my family in hopes of having a relaxing vacation. This was completely derailed by the wildfires and winds brought on by Hurricane Dora.

On the afternoon of Tuesday, August 8, my mother, my aunt, my cousin, and myself, went into Lahaina to get some groceries. We went as the food was becoming scarce at the resort that we were staying in, in Kaanapali. Aside from high winds and power outages, we were unaware of the fires in Lahaina and at this point, there were no road closures going south. In the short time we were in the grocery store we began to see smoke and began to panic as no Uber driver could pick us up to take us back to our hotel. We asked numerous customers in the grocery store if they could take us back, but they either were not going north or had no space to take the four of us. As the grocery store began closing we were forced to go outside in the smoke, our eyes burning. One woman felt she couldn’t leave us stranded and so with only 1/4 tank of gas agreed to try to take us to safety. Just as she was emptying her jeep to take us, she found a young man driving a blue Toyota/Honda sedan going north to Napili who agreed without hesitation to take us. This man saved our lives and I need to find him.

His name is Ryle/Ryland, he’s in his mid-20s-30s and works for Enterprise car rental in Maui. He was driving the blue car described above, his wife was behind us in a white car, and his father was in another car. He remained incredibly calm throughout our very narrow escape from the fires, where everywhere we turned there were buildings/trees or other structures ablaze. This included a gas station that was completely engulfed in flames. He managed to navigate us to safety despite these obstacles including fallen telephone poles and power lines, driving at times through complete darkness due to the smoke, relying on his memory of the roads. He told us about he had come here from the Philippines in 2012 and had gotten married about 2 years ago to his now wife.

He ultimately got us to safety, stopping at the Safeway just north of Lahaina, to find his father. We then got into a police cruiser that took us further north before we walked 40 minutes or so back to our hotel. I don’t know if he found his father, but we have been praying for him and his family every day.

Please share this with everyone you know in hopes of finding this man and his family. We are eternally grateful for his kindness, and we would not be alive had he not come to our aid. He is truly an angel and I want to help him.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Maui. As of today August 11, we are still a long way from home (Toronto, Canada) but we are safe thanks to this man, and all those that helped us in quickly evacuating overnight. This was extremely challenging with elevators not working and complete loss of power at our hotel, quickly making our way down the hotel stairwells by flashlight. Thank you to all the incredible people who provided food, water, blankets, and smiles as we mentally prepared to sleep at the airport until we could find a flight off the island.

Thank you,

Aliya, Yasmina, Sehrezade and Nazma

Lahaina on fire

Maui line

The hero was found!

His name is: Brile Castillo

Thank you for reading that story!  Let us know if you have any. 

Maui line

Debunk the Rumors

When you’re not donating to the Maui recovery, volunteering, or sharing and reading about the good things we’re doing as a community on Maui, please don’t fan the flames of rumor.  There are UNENDING rumors floating around.  Channel your energy towards helping and the positive.  We need it.

debunk the rumors

THESE RUMORS ARE NOT TRUE:

  • Maui was attacked by a laser beam from space.  No.  And the Earth is round too.
  • Maui is closed. West Maui is closed.  The rest of the island is already feeling the affects of visitors cancelling plans.  It’s going to be hard for local businesses to continue helping the local community without direct or indirect tourism dollars.  But, government grants and subsidies will take care of Maui, right?  No, Lahaina fire victims will be taken care of first (if at all), and those of us helping them from other parts of Maui that depend on tourism will come much later (if at all.) We know many businesses that will close their doors permanently if business doesn’t come back in the next 2-3 months.
  • If I donate to GoFundMe, I’ll help a family in need.  Not always.  Make sure they’re legit. Evil people come out of the woodwork during crisis’ like this.  Make sure the GoFundMe is from a legitimate source.  We have a few verified organizations, groups and individuals on this Maui donation page.
  • Jeff Bezos gave, so we don’t have to. Thankfully, he gave us 100 million in aid and recovery.  They’re estimating that it’ll cost over 5 billion dollars to rebuild Lahaina.  That doesn’t include the destruction in Kula.  That doesn’t include feeding and housing the displaced.  That doesn’t all the work needed before we even get close to cleaning things up.  We need more.

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