A 26-year-old woman found unconscious and not breathing at Ha‘ena’s Tunnels beach Wednesday afternoon was given mouth-to-mouth resuscitation at the scene by tourists and eventually transported to Wilcox Memorial Hospital, according to multiple sources.
The woman was apparently swimming in the ocean before she was helped to shore by a male friend.
Don Wilfong, a visitor from Oregon, said his two stepsons, 41-year-old Charles Wetherald and 38-year-old Steven Wetherald, both also of Oregon, then used their lifeguard training to provide CPR to the woman.
Wilfong said that a pair of lifeguards arrived on the scene some 15 minutes after the woman had been pulled out of the water. Next to arrive was the Kaua‘i Fire Department, and almost an hour went by, Wilfong said, before an ambulance had arrived from Kapa‘a.
County spokeswoman Mary Daubert said that the woman, a “summer visitor” from California staying on the North Shore, was then taken to Wilcox. The fire department told Daubert that the woman’s condition had improved during the ride.
Wilfong said that the KFD told him that paramedics had been able to establish a pulse.
Daubert said that the woman was “holding on” at Wilcox in critical condition and categorized the incident as a “near-drowning.”
No further information on the woman’s identity was available as of press time.