Strong currents, large waves result in distressed swimmers


A married couple, who were injured and struggling to swim in the ocean Sunday afternoon in Puna, made it safely to shore on their own, according to the Hawaii County Fire Department.

Rescue personnel responded to a 3:28 p.m. report of two swimmers in distress at Orr’s Beach. A 63-year-old woman and a 74-year-old man received injuries when a large wave struck them while they swam in a tidal pool, the Fire Department stated.

Both people were placed in full spinal precautions and airlifted via a county helicopter to Papio Park. They were then treated and transported to Hilo Medical Center, the Fire Department stated.

The National Weather Service has issued a high surf advisory until 6 p.m. today for the Big Island’s east-facing shores.

Forecasters in Honolulu are predicting rough and choppy 6- to 8-foot surf, as well as strong rip currents, along the affected coastlines.

For more information, visit www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl.