- “Hi, I'm Hazel Haskett, and welcome to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Fifteen years ago, my mom and dad bought an old sewage treatment plant, and turned it into a hospital for sick and injured marine animals. Their goal was to rescue, rehab, and release as many animals as they could. Today, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium is home to turtles, otters, sharks, and dolphins, including Winter, the famous dolphin with the prosthetic tail. If you're interested in volunteering at CMA, please see our staff at Guest Services. Enjoy your day here at Clearwater Marine Aquarium.”
- ―Hazel Haskett, talking about her family's business
Hazel was born on June 28th, 1999, when her parents started the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, though it was called the Clearwater Marine Hospital at the time. Her mother died when she was just seven years old. Since then, she has assisted her father and the rest of the staff with taking care of the animals in the hospital.
Hazel is initially depicted as a very shy girl; she's also very chatty due to being homeschooled. After meeting Sawyer and finding Winter, Hazel becomes very concerned about Winter's survival. Thus, she shows extreme dedication in helping Winter, and assists Sawyer in working around the hospital.
In the second film, Hazel changes considerably; she has become a very assertive young adult. She also starts to develop a romantic interest in Sawyer.
Hazel first appears shortly after Sawyer finds Winter beached and injured, along with her father, Clay Haskett, and the rest of the Clearwater Marine Hospital staff, and assists with the rescue. She is seen again later, carrying a cooler full of fish, accidentally bumping into Sawyer, spilling fish everywhere. After they work to get the fish back into the cooler before Rufus the pelican eats them all, Hazel recognizes Sawyer immediately and concludes he came to check in on Winter. She asks him not to tell her father, as he doesn't allow civilians in the treatment section. After realizing Sawyer got in because she forgot to lock the back door, as always, she panics. The two go up to visit Winter. Phoebe, one of the dolphin specialists, is displeased when she sees Sawyer there without permission. Hazel quickly gets Sawyer out of the building when she sees her father coming. The next day, when Sawyer comes face-to-face with Hazel's father, Clay, after Rufus gives him away, Hazel appears and explains who he is and why he's there. Clay reprimands her, but after seeing that Winter is more at ease with Sawyer's presence, Clay allows him to visit. The day after, Sawyer returns to the hospital, and is shocked to see Hazel weeping in the corner, and is even more shocked to see that Winter's tail had to be amputated because it was too infected.
While having lemonade icicles made by Hazel herself, Sawyer and Hazel talk about their parents; Sawyer's dad left 5 years prior and has never kept in touch since, and Hazel's mom died when she was 7. As the days go by, Sawyer continues to help out with Winter, with support from Hazel and the rest of the staff. Later when Sawyer brings in Dr. Cameron McCarthy, when it is shown that Winter's side-to-side swimming motion is doing her more bad than good, Hazel helps out with making a prosthetic tail for her. Following a hurricane, Gloria, a member of the board of directors, declares that the only option is to put Winter down, which greatly upsets everyone. But, hope arises when a mother and her disabled daughter from Atlanta, Georgia come to see Winter. Hazel and Sawyer come up with a plan to save the facility.
After two failed attempts with the prosthetic tail, Sawyer realizes that the plastic base for the tail is causing Winter discomfort. Therefore, Dr. McCarthy designs a gel-like sock, which makes Winter feel more comfortable, and she accepts the new tail. As Sawyer's cousin Kyle Connellan races against his friend Donovan Peck, Hazel and Sawyer high-five each other, almost causing Hazel to fall in the water; Sawyer grabs her hand before she pushes him in the water and jumps in herself. She is last seen embracing her father when real estate developer Phil Hordern agrees to support CMH.
Hazel has become an ambassador for the Clearwater Marine Aquarium since Phil Hordern agreed to fund the facility, doing videos and filming, and begins to fall in love with Sawyer. She is first seen telling Sawyer that they're going to start in 10 minutes. She then films Sawyer swimming with Winter and champion surfer Bethany Hamilton.
After Sawyer goes to CMA after being offered the SEA Semester by Kyle's advisor Dr. Miguel Arroyo and sees that Panama has died overnight, he goes for a walk outside and finds Hazel grieving in the crow's nest of her father's houseboat. Going up to comfort her, she muses that she never spends time up there anymore, and that she used to spend most of her time up there, and asks Sawyer if he could turn the clock back and make everything the way it was, would he do it. While Mandy, a sun-burned dolphin that was named after a little girl who found her, is being treated, Hazel and Sawyer investigate why Rufus is hanging around the dock lately, and find a sea turtle tangled in fishing line under the dock. Hazel, Sawyer, and Rebecca name the turtle Mavis. When Sawyer is knocked in the pool after Winter freaks out as he tries to get her out so a new cast can be made, Hazel, Phoebe, Clay, and Dr. McCarthy help him out of the water.
A few days later, after USDA inspector George Hatton visits CMA and gives Clay an ultimatum, Hazel and Rebecca bring Mavis to the hospital where Sawyer's mother Lorraine works for an MRI. She is next seen as Susie, another volunteer, asks Sawyer if she and her grandfather can see Winter. Later, Clay shows Hazel and Sawyer Mandy's test results, meaning that she's ready for release (after all, the facility's motto is "Rescue, Rehab, Release"), much to Hazel and Sawyer's dismay. Clay explains that it's not all about Winter, and that if Mandy can catch live fish, the last test to determine her readiness, then it's a decision he has to make. Hazel snorts and furiously storms off. The next morning, Clay sees Hazel outside preparing to go for a run. He tries to calmly reason with her, but Hazel, still angry, refuses to listen and runs off. She goes to the general hospital and consults Lorraine, who explains to her what hospitals are for, and encourages her to treat her father the way she wants to be treated. Taking Lorraine's advice, Hazel returns to the aquarium and firmly asks her father to let her see Mandy's medical records; after looking at them, she understands that what's best for Mandy is just as important as what's best for Winter. As they release Mandy, Clay allows Hazel to take charge of the release.
A few days later, Hazel is with Sawyer scrubbing the pool walls, asking if Sawyer booked his flight to Boston; Sawyer responds that he's not sure about going, much to Hazel's disbelief. Following an argument, Hazel lets Winter into the pool to see if she's feeling better, and she is. Winter pulls Sawyer into the water, and Sawyer eventually pulls Hazel in as well. Clay finds them and gives them an earful, reminding them that dolphins are wild animals. Sawyer tells Clay that he should be the one to blame. Clay sadly tells them that George just visited again, and issued a transfer order; Winter is going to be moved to a marine park in Texas. Sawyer is depressed all over again by this. When Lorraine brings Sawyer to a congratulatory party, Hazel is seen among the people who greet him upon entry.
When Hope is brought to CMA, Hazel films the whole thing, and decides that Hope will be her name. Sawyer agrees that it's a good name. Hazel is next seen restraining Rufus as she, Sawyer, and the others release Mavis, though Rufus follows her out to sea. She later films Pheobe and Sawyer outlining the plans for and the risks of putting Hope and Winter together, and bumps into Sawyer as she gets her camera ready. When the pairing goes wrong, Sawyer, Hazel, and the others look at Hazel's video to see what happened, and discover Hope didn't know what to think of Winter because she didn't have a tail and her swimming motion was abnormal. Hazel agrees with Sawyer's proposal to try a new prosthetic tail. She is seen along with Sawyer, Lorraine, Clay and Phoebe when Dr. McCarthy presents his latest prosthetic tail, which is more like an actual dolphin's tail. Hope initally panics again, but sees what the prosthetic tail is for, and accepts Winter as a friend, and vice versa. Everyone is overjoyed that Winter and Hope have accepted each other, and George allows CMA to keep Winter. Hazel is last seen saying goodbye to Sawyer as he heads for the Tampa Airport; she releases several multi-colored helium balloons and holds up a sign "We Heart Sawyer 4 Ever!", and finally photographs Winter and Hope, sending a text message "W+H say they'll miss you, too". Just as Sawyer, Lorraine, and Kyle are about to get back on the road again, Rufus returns, and Hazel is happy to see him again. Sawyer sends her a text message back "Thanks Hazel. You're the best!". She then waves goodbye to Sawyer as he drives off "Bye, Sawyer. Really gonna miss you...".
Hazel first meets Sawyer shortly after he finds Winter beached, though they don't truly interact until Sawyer visits CMA after school. Over time, Sawyer becomes close friends with Hazel and the rest of the staff. In the second film, Hazel starts to fall in love with Sawyer, as evidenced by the way she smiles fondly at him from time to time.
When Sawyer brings his mother to CMA, she, too, becomes fast friends with the staff, particularly Hazel. In the second film, Lorraine and Hazel begin to form a mother-daughter relationship, in that Hazel sees Lorraine as a surrogate mother, as her mother died when she was 7.
Dr. Cameron McCarthy
- Hazel Haskett is Cozi Zuehlsdorff’s very first role.