According to the Hawaii County Fire Department, a 55-year-old woman told rescuers her kayak sank on Nov. 3 and she was stranded after that.
On Thursday Nov. 7, a tour boat from Hilo Ocean Adventures happened to be close enough to hear the woman’s cries for help.
Captain Kimo Field said he was taking people to go snorkeling and see dolphins when he heard someone yelling in the distance.
“As I got even closer to the sound, the people inside of the boat also could hear the yelling then I heard a whistle,” Field said.
The woman was in a hard-to-reach spot, so Field dialed 911.
“I told this person that was stranded in the sea cave that help was on its way,” he explained.
Field said he and his snorkelers stayed to make sure the woman was brought to safety. Within 15 minutes he said, a fire rescue helicopter appeared.
“Then I moved our boat out of the way, and then they helicopter was able to come in close, get a diver in the water, and then perform the rescue,” Field said.
Field said usually he does not take tour groups past Onomea point, but because there were no dolphins to be found that day, he decided to keep going.
“I’m so glad I decided to do that because if I didn’t, it would be very very difficult for somebody else to find this person,” he said.
Hawaii County Fire Department said the woman was taken to Hilo Medical Center for treatment.