Near drowning at Shipwrecks

LIHUE — A 65-year-old Koloa man in peril was rescued by water safety officers Friday afternoon.

Poipu Beach lifeguards responded to a 9:12 a.m. call from Kauai Police Dispatch about a body in the water by the cliffs at Shipwrecks beach. A caller above the cliffs spotted the victim.

Kauai Fire Department responded with Rescue 3 and Air1, along with Engine 4 and Truck 4 in route. Ocean Safety Bureau officers on Jetski6 joined the search.

The female caller flagged down responders at around 9:19 a.m. Her information sent lifeguards aboard JetSki6 to the sand dunes area about a half mile east from Shipwrecks.

A few minutes later, Air1 spotted someone in the water near the cliffs along the shore.

“This is definitely a rescue if not a recovery,” was the message from Air1.

At 9:31 a.m. responders called for an air pickup as they approached the victim and brought the middle age male victim up onto the rocks.

“Disregard, he’s standing and breathing,” was the call from a responder. “He will require ambulatory. He said he can walk out but will need assistance.”

The steep location, with loose, jagged rocks, was inaccessible by air. Rescuers initially wanted to bring the victim to Shipwrecks beach via Jetski6 because they didn’t feel it was possible to bring in a harness in those conditions. But responders changed their minds about the water exit and requested Air1 to do the pick up from the rocks.

Engine 3 set up a landing zone on the roadway near the Poipu Bay Golf Course. The primary zone at the Grand Hyatt parking lot was too crowded with cars and air obstacles, they said.

Air1 lifted the victim to the landing zone around 11 a.m., where medical transport waited to bring him to Wilcox Memorial Hospital. The victim’s condition was unavailable late Friday.


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