3 off-duty Coast Guard members help save teens at Kahe Beach

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A family visiting Hawaii will head home safely after a harrowing experience at the beach.

Alise and Brandon Kayser were snorkeling at Kahe Beach around 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 16. Suddenly, they felt a strong current pushing them further out to sea.

“The waves were coming this way and this way and no matter how hard I swam, I couldn’t get anywhere,” Alise said.

The cousins say they had been in the water for about 45 minutes snorkeling and looking at fish. 

They were unaware of the man-made current from the nearby power plant, which is about 200 yards from shore. 

“I started getting tired and I started yelling ‘I can’t get out, Brandon help me!'” Alise said. 

Brandon Kayser, on his schools swim team back in Niagara Falls, New York said he was having difficulty in the strong current. 

“I got pulled under and when I came up, I didn’t know where Alise was anymore,” Brandon said. 

Brandon’s mom, Robin, said she was only a couple yards from shore and had trouble swimming in. That’s when she feared her son and niece were struggling as they were much further out. 

“Panic set in, I went to the shore, I tried to spot them, I couldn’t — so I didn’t know what to do,” Robin Kayser said. 

She said she saw locals nearby and figured they’d know what to do. 

“I ran to them, it was Teddy — his family was amazing they all rallied together, they got the paddleboard and he went out as quickly as he could,” Robin Kayser explained. 

Robin Kayser was unaware that there was already three off-duty U.S. Coast Guard members assisting the two teens.

“I saw Brandon off in the distance and he was right in the middle of the current from the discharge and I noticed he was kind of struggling,” U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Aaron Robb said. “I swam over and I told him swim towards me go parallel to shoreline.”

That’s when Robb asked if Brandon was alone.

“He said, ‘No my cousin is out there too—further,” Robb said. 

The three Coast Guardsmen said the teens were pushed nearly 600 yards from shore.

The men were already carrying eight pounds of free-diving gear and even they started getting tired in the unforgiving current.

That’s when Teddy arrived.

“They (Jessie and Aaron) got her on his paddle board and he said he needed help getting back in. I was a fresh set of legs, so I got behind the paddle board — I had big dive fins on, so I kicked it back to shore,” U.S. Coast Guard member Cameron Fageol said.

The Kayser family is grateful the men were in the right place at the right time.

“They really did save our kids lives, and they are heroes,” Robin Kayser said.

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