Coast Guard, Hawaii Fire Department rescue swimmer off Big Island

Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Berry file photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew West)

Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Berry file photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew West

HONOLULU — The Coast Guard and Hawaii County Fire Department crews rescued a swimmer suffering from a medical emergency in Maihi Bay, Friday.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Berry (WPC 1124) successfully pulled the afflicted swimmer out of the water and brought him to awaiting emergency services at Keauhou Bay Pier.

“Our crews are always ready to respond to matters of distress on our waterways,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Tyler Peterson, a Coast Guard Sector Honolulu watchstander. “The Oliver Berry crew was in the area and worked cooperatively with the Hawaii County Fire Department to ensure the swimmer was quickly recovered and received the care he needed.”

At 5:32 p.m., Sector Honolulu watchstanders received a report from Hawaii County Dispatch that a 17-year-old swimmer was suffering from a severe leg cramp about 50-yards offshore in Maihi Bay. Five other swimmers worked to keep the afflicted man afloat but were unable to bring him to shore.

The Hawaii County Fire Department deployed air and ground crews in response. While the crew of the Oliver Berry, anchored off Kailua-Kona, launched their cutter small boat with a rescue and response team to render aid. Once on scene, the team brought the disabled man and another swimmer aboard and transferred them to awaiting emergency services ashore. The remaining four swimmers returned to the beach safely on their own.

No other reports of injuries or distress were received. The weather at the time of the rescue was winds of 11 mph and seas of 2 feet.

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