HONOLULU – A swimmer in distress was rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter after being swept out to sea near Hanakapiai Beach, Kauai, Friday.
An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew was on a routine mission when they received notification by radio from a tour helicopter that “S.O.S.” was written in the sand on a nearby beach.
The Dolphin crew diverted to the area and began searching for any signs of distress. They noticed a male had been pulled off the shore by a rip current and was in need of immediate assistance.
The crew selected and maintained a position. They lowered the rescue basket and the swimmer was able to safely climb in before being hoisted into the helicopter.
The man was flown to Lihue Airport where he was transferred to awaiting EMS for further evaluation.
The Coast Guard advises beachgoers to know their limits and visit beaches staffed with lifeguards. Rip tides and severe surf can quickly overpower even the strongest swimmers.
For more information on current local beach conditions, visit www.hawaiibeachsafety.com.