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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                   March 16, 2006




            City Ocean Safety and Fire Department rescue crews pulled five people from rough waters off Portlock this afternoon after a diving trip went bad.

            Three female visitors and a male diving instructor entered the waters off China Walls  this afternoon to go scuba diving. When they were done, however, they were unable to return to shore at the rocky spot.

            “It’s tough to come back in on that ledge when the ocean’s flat. With today’s three-foot south swell and the easterly wind swell, it was even more dangerous,” said Ocean Safety Division spokesman Jimmy Barros.

            The surf was threatening to dash the divers into the rocks until a bystander, a local man, jumped in. He calmed the divers down and got them out of the surge, away from the rocks.

            “That guy who jumped in really, really helped,” said Barros.

            Meanwhile, other bystanders called 911. Fire dispatchers notified Ocean Safety at 2:55 p.m.. Ocean Safety Lt. Dave Loganbill from Hanauma Bay and Fire Rescue 2 arrived on the scene six minutes later. Two fire rescue swimmers jumped in to help secure the divers. An Ocean Safety  jet ski  with operator Clifford Ahmow and lifeguard Ryan Reasoner aboard, a jet ski from the Hawaii Kai Fire Station and the Rescue 2 boat all were launched and helped pluck the seven people from the water and carried them to safety.

            A City Emergency Medical Services ambulance responded from Wailupe. The paramedics treated the divers for cuts and scrapes, but no one required hospitalization.




            Bill Brennan, 527-6928

            Mark Matsunaga, 527-5767   

Friday, March 17, 2006

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