Kauai beachgoers saved three people from drowning in waters off Kauapea Beach on Tuesday.
Officials say a 42-year-old Austrian man initially found himself in distress, which prompted a 24-year-old Kilauea man to help him. Then a 50-year-old Kauai woman entered the water after seeing the men both struggle.
Firefighters say upon their arrival, they found nearly a dozen beachgoers had formed a human chain to pull the two swimmers back to shore.
“The quick-thinking and cooperation of this group of strangers likely saved three people from drowning on Tuesday,” fire chief Robert Westerman said. “The rescue tube placed at Kauapea had apparently been damaged. The lanyards were cut off, making it unsafe for anyone to use in a rescue. This is yet another example of how vandalism hurts our entire community.”
Fire crews were able to help the third swimmer from the water.