Strong currents pull swimmer out to sea in Puna, rescued via helicopter

By Hawaii 24/7 Staff

Fire/rescue responded to a 1:57 p.m. alarm Saturday for a swimmer reported to be in distress about 200 yards offshore the Waa Waa area of Puna.

The Fire Department’s Chopper One was dispatched and located the 16-year-old boy about 150 yards from the shoreline. He was pulled out to sea by strong currents and was unable to swim back to shore. A rescue swimmer was put in the water to assist the victim into a Billy Pugh rescue net so he could be airlifted to Papio Park at the bottom of Hawaiian Beaches where a medic unit was available.

The boy was treated by medics and taken to Hilo Medical Center reportedly with no life-threatening injuries.

A high surf advisory remains in effect for east-facing shores of Hawaii Island until 5 a.m. Sunday (Sept 9) due to the effects of Tropical Cyclone Norman which passed north of the state.