EXCLUSIVE: Man saved in dramatic Big Island rescue

By Ashley Moser
Published On: Apr 22 2014 07:14:18 PM HST
Updated On: Apr 22 2014 07:17:30 PM HST

Dramatic video captures the rescue of a snorkeler who was struggling to survive a rough-water snorkle off the Big Island.

PUAKO, Hawaii -

A dramatic rescue was caught on tape off shores on the west side of the Big Island. It happened three weeks ago when a man picked a bad spot to go snorkeling and things only got worse from there.

Click here to watch Ashley Moser's report.

The trouble started almost instantly for this snorkeler when he waded into rough water off Paniau Beach in Puako.

He bobbed in and out of the water, struggling and wearing out until a nearby surfer Zach Sato found him.

"I yelled to see if he was okay. I could see he was kind of struggling. He put his hand up all the way and so I paddled there," said Sato.

Sato and a friend grabbed the man. They say he was about to lose his battle with the sea.

"Thirty seconds more – a 90 percent chance he would have died. Like pure blue kind of swollen and his eyes were barely like – almost rolled back," said Sato.

The two brought the man safely to shore and tugged him in on their surf boards.

"The guy was pretty much heaving. He couldn't even hold himself up on his own will," said Sato.

After arriving safely on shore and probably still woozy, the guy wearing the camera pulled it off and dropped it in the sand.

Two weeks later, another man found the camera, played the video and found himself immersed in the drama.

"When you see the video for the first time and you don't know the outcome, it's terrifying. You think, 'Oh man, this guy is going down,'" said Aaron. "Luckily the surfer came into view. We both breathed a sigh of relief. You thank God this guy is there!"

No one has been able to identify the snorkeler -- not the surfers or the man who found the camera.

We'd love to see your comments on this story, especially if you know who the man is that was rescued.

Kona Rescue

Kona Rescue

Kona Rescue

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