Tourists rescued from sinking car in Hawaii harbor

Good Samaritans sprang into action to help.

May 4, 2023, 10:14 AM

Good Samaritans jumped into action to help rescue a pair of tourists who apparently followed their GPS directly into a harbor in Hawaii.

As first reported by the Washington Post, the incident happened on Saturday at the Honokohau Small Boat Harbor in Kailua-Kona, the west coast of the Big Island.

"I jumped into the water and got to the window and spoke to the driver," Sean Hutchinson told ABC News. "It was relatively deep the way they were drifting out. The weather was really bad."

The passenger made it out the window first, but the driver was still inside the car, video of the incident showed.

Other witnesses, including a trained rescue diver, sprang into action to help. The driver told them she has a heart condition and climbed onto the window edge, according to Hutchinson.

"We knew we had to try and get the people out, [that] was the priority," Hutchinson said.

After carefully helping her out of the car and walking the driver and passenger back up the boat ramp, the van began to sink underwater, according to Hutchinson.

Law enforcement has not commented on what caused the incident, but Hutchinson's wife Christie, who recorded video showing the Dodge Caravan and rescue efforts, said the area around the harbor is difficult to navigate.

"They may have gotten distracted looking for the manta tour that they were looking for and they were said that they had been following the GPS," she told ABC News. "I don't know the reasons for them going into the water. But it happened -- all we had to do was save them."