Swimmer rescued from waters off Big Island’s Puna coastline
Personnel with the Hawai’i Fire Department, Hawai‘i Police Department and U.S. Coast Guard responded at about 7 p.m. Friday to a swimmer in distress in waters off the Big Island’s Puna coastline near the Kumukahi lighthouse.
Upon their arrival, rescue personnel located the swimmer about 100 yards offshore holding onto a makeshift floatation device. The Coast Guard was able to deploy a rescue raft from a C-130 plane and the swimmer was able to safely make it to the raft.
The swimmer remained safely in the raft for some time, but because of rough waters and windy conditions the raft was forced back toward the cliffs. The swimmer was able to climb the cliff to safety with assistance from Fire Department personnel.
The swimmer suffered some minor scratches and slight hypothermia. First aid was administered, but the swimmer refused further treatment or transport by emergency medical services.
A total of nine Hawai’i County units and two Coast Units, including two choppers, a rescue boat and the C-130 plane, were deployed to the incident.
All units were back in quarters by 10:24 p.m.