Swimmer can thank nephews for life

LIHUE — A California visitor who was rescued after injuring his back and head at Queen’s Bath can thank his nephews and other bystanders for his life, according to one eyewitness.

“Those two boys performed perfectly in a time of great stress and fear,” said Andrew Jones. “They were key in those first few minutes.”

The incident happened on Aug. 4 at Queen’s Bath, a popular spot known for unpredictable waves and strong currents. It is a hazardous area where drownings and near drownings have occurred.

Bystanders at the scene brought the 51-year-old man to shore, while others hiked up the trail and called for help, according to county spokeswoman Sarah Blane. The victim was conscious and breathing when firefighters reached him a short time later and airlifted him to medics for transport to Wilcox Memorial Hospital. He has since been released.

Jones, of Sacramento, California, said he and his son were at Queen’s Bath just after 11 a.m. Aug. 4 when they saw a man they knew as Mike stumble while trying to jump off a 15-foot ledge into the water, scraping his back and knocking himself unconscious.

“He was indeed unconscious when I reached him, and it was the quick thinking of his two nephews, ages 15 and 12, that was instrumental in the initial part of the rescue,” Jones said. “The 15-year-old shouted ‘Get in the water!’ to his brother, while running to get the rescue tube that was posted nearby.”

Jones reached the man and helped turn him face up. The 12-year-old assisted in keeping his head out of the water. They spoke to the victim, asking if he could hear them. The 15-year-old tossed the rescue tube to them and they used it to support his head.

Other bystanders lifted the victim out of the water. By that time, the man was conscious enough to help in that effort, Jones added.

Three firefighters assisted in moving the victim up to the level where the helicopter could land.

No other information on the victim’s identity or condition was available.

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