Cape Town – A Cape Town man on holiday in Hawaii was hailed a hero after he and his friends rescued two women who were trapped in a vehicle that drove down a boat slipway at the weekend.
Martin Wesemann, a rescue swimmer for the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) in Hout Bay on holiday, and his friend, Sean Hutchinson, who is originally from South Africa, and another friend had just returned from a cruise on Hutchinson’s boat at the Honokohau Marina and Small Boat Harbour in Kailua-Kona on Saturday, April 29, when the incident happened.
“We were on the boat next to the slipway when we noticed the vehicle, with a female driver and a female passenger, drive past us down the slipway without pausing and the vehicle entered the water before floating further into the harbour and beginning to sink.
“Both ladies were preparing to escape through the vehicle's front windows and naturally, Sean, and our fellow sailor Tony, and myself jumped into the water to assist them.
“We were able to help them to escape the sinking vehicle, through the front driver’s and front passenger windows, getting them both safely to shore,” Wesermann said.
He said the police, fire department, and an ambulance service arrived at the scene promptly.
By this time, Wesermann had attached a rope to the vehicle.
“The tow line was attached to the axle (there was no tow bar on the vehicle) under the car, underwater, using a bowline knot
“The two ladies were not injured and we believe the vehicle navigation system may have accidentally led them to drive down the slipway.
“We were in the right place at the right time to help them,” Wesermann said.
A local news agency that sourced footage of the incident hailed the men as heroes.