Video shows Kona man rescue a pup out of a deep fissure in Big Island forest

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Social media was abuzz earlier this week when a video posted by a Kona man showed him rescuing a dog that was trapped down an old fissure in the Volcano forest.

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A post shared by Kawika Singson (@kveeks)

The video, posted Monday, was created by Kawika Singson, 60, who documented Saturday’s rescue, from the drive to the dense Hawaiian forest to going down the narrow volcanic crevice to watching Misty, a 10-month-old Catahoula dog, be pulled out, after eight hours of darkness, and returned to the arms of her owners.

The dog’s owner, Cody Gomes, said he felt blessed to get Misty back adding Singson did a spectacular job.

“He put his life on the line to get her out,” Gomes said.


Gomes was out pig hunting with his dad and younger brother when the black and tan dog fell into the crevice after being called back to him. Equipped with a GPS collar, Gomes said he was able to track her return until he randomly lost the signal. When he went out searching for her, they heard her cries from the crack in the earth.

Gomes knew Singson rescued dogs after watching past YouTube videos of the Kona man’s past successful missions. So, he reached out.

His sixth dog rescue since 2019, Singson, a retired combat engineer from the U.S. Army, said he doesn’t charge people for his assistance.

“All I want to do is get them their dog back,” he said. “I just do it because like a lot of people I love dogs and I have the ability to go get them.”

When he approached the fissure, Singson could see Misty at the bottom. Only a few feet wide, the 60-year-old was unfazed by the fissure’s depth and narrow opening. He used an orange rope to climb down and brought a blue rope with him to use for Misty.


With a slim, muscular build, Singson said: “If the dog can fit through, I can probably fit through.”

“The primary objective is to get the dog,” Singson said in an interview earlier this week. “Forget about everything else. That’s how I overcome the clausterphobicness. It’s mind over matter.”

Singson described the fissure, about 20 to 30 feet deep, as vertical smooth walls on both sides and “very narrow.” There was no way the pup was climbing out by herself.

Passing a lava tube on his way down to the bottom of the fissure, Singson describes everything he sees in the video. When he finally made contact with Misty, she wouldn’t come to him.

“She was scared,” Singson said. “Her paws were bloody cause she was trying to scratch her way out.”


Giving her his hand and petting her, Misty eventually allowed Singson to hook a harness around her body, attach the blue rope and begin the arduous journey back to the top.

As Singson slowly squeezed himself up the walls, he’d stop and bring Misty up behind him.

“Don’t worry girl, we’re not leaving you,” he reassured her.

As he got closer to the top, Singson, breathing heavily, can be heard saying: “Almost there, oh boy.”

As he got close to the top, Singson pulled Misty into his arms, instructing Gomes to call for her and comfort her.

“When I grab them they’re tense but as soon as they’re in my hands they surrender themselves to me,” Singson said. “It’s incredible. They completely trust me.”

The video shows Singson gently pushing Misty above his head so Gomes could pull her out the rest of the way. He followed shortly after.

“I came, I saw and I conquered,” Singson said following the rescue.

In the video, Singson praised Gomes as a good dog owner for having a GPS collar on Misty.

Gomes said it was one of the best feelings to get Misty back. His daughter’s dog, he said it was incredible knowing they got her back.

Gomes wishes Singson the best of luck on his future missions.

Tiffany DeMasters
Tiffany DeMasters is a full-time reporter for Pacific Media Group. Tiffany worked as the cops and courts reporter for West Hawaii Today from 2017 to 2019. She also contributed stories to Ke Ola Magazine and Honolulu Civil Beat.

Tiffany can be reached at
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