Tuesday, December 9, 2014

OL Mike Moses' Big Island Rescue

Dateline: Wed., November 19, 2014 at approx. 8:30 - 9 a.m..., Kailua-Kona harbor... on the Big Island of Hawaii.


The famed buoy course and the same location/venue as the start of the annual Ironman Triathlon...

The stairs leading down to the start of the buoy course...

Mike and his daughter, Shauna, getting ready for a swim out along the buoy course...

The 1,500 meter turnaround buoy...

Mike and Shauna on an earlier swim out to the 1,500 meter buoy on the previous Saturday, Nov. 15th.

Author selfie with Mike and Shauna in the background... at the 1,500 meter buoy... on Nov. 15th.

An idyllic setting to be sure.  Gorgeous weather, clear warm water... time for a swim along the buoy course out to the 1.2 mile buoy... just another morning in paradise, to be followed by a big breakfast and a nap.

It was not to work out that way, however, for Mike and his young adult daughter, Shauna, on the morning of Wed., Nov. 19th, 2014...  Not feeling quite right and having some trouble of his own with some back pain, Mike decided to cut short his morning swim and he and Shauna instead spent some time on the surface out by the 1/2 mile buoy checking out the tropical fish and the famed "black cloud of bait fish" that inhabit the sea floor inside the harbor.

While checking out the fish, Mike and Shauna heard someone call out for help.  One of the local "Kona Aquatics" Masters swimmers had apparently stopped to rest instead of joining the group out to the 1.2 mile buoy.  She was short of breath and, as it turns out, was 32 weeks pregnant!  Mike and Shauna swam over and she explained that she was having trouble breathing so Mike assessed the situation and given his 30 plus years experience as both a LACo OL and a Santa Barbara City Firefighter, he instructed Shauna to take one of the lady's arms and he took the other and they placed her on her back and sidestroked her into shore.  Along the way they were assisted briefly by another swimmer/skin diver who himself then became tired and whose condition also had to be monitored by Mike.

Meanwhile the group of masters swimmers swam on out to the 1.2 mile buoy and arrived back to shore shortly after Mike and Shauna's successful rescue.  I was swimming with this esteemed group of swimmers and said hi to Mike and asked him about his swim. He replied that they had just rescued a pregnant lady.  I said, "I saw her on the way out swimming freestyle".  I remember thinking, that lady must be pregnant...  I then told Mike: "Leave it to Mike Moses to go on vacation and rescue a pregnant lady"... when I realized that there she was at the top of the stairs and was smiling at my remark.  I can, thus, confirm this rescue firsthand as I then spoke to the rescued lady and asked how she was feeling.  She said she felt better having rested and also remarked that she normally swims with this group with no problems but that she felt out of breath and stopped while the rest of the group kept swimming.  It was shortly thereafter that she realized she could not make it back to shore by herself.

She was somewhat embarrassed and was glad to hear that Mike and Shauna were just visiting. I then explained to her that Mike was recently retired from the Santa Barbara City Fire Department and has been a LACo OL for over 30 years, and his daughter swam and played water polo at Santa Barbara High School and was a lifeguard for the City of Carpinteria. 

Another life saved by Mike Moses. Just another day in paradise... 

So what does a Veteran Zuma OL like Mike Moses do after a successful open water rescue of a pregnant lady in paradise?...  he has a huge breakfast at Splashers!... even if his daughter did most of the work according to Mike.

Way to go, Mike and Shauna!


Respectfully submitted,

Will Maguire, Editor
"County Recurrent" News

(All photos by and © Will Maguire 2014.)

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1 comment:

Nick said...

Once a lifeguard always a lifeguard!