Keith B. Havens helped to save Brittany and Jason Sorensen from drowning, Kilauea, Hawaii, June 29, 2008. Brittany and her husband Jason were snorkeling in the Pacific Ocean at a coral reef just off a beach when they became caught in a very strong current that carried them seaward through a channel in the reef. Unable to return to shore, they shouted and waved their arms for help. On vacation, Havens, 54, aquatic director and swim coach, was on the beach with his family and became aware of the situation. Joined by his two adult sons, Havens entered the water and swam out toward the victims, reaching Brittany at a point about 300 feet from shore. As his sons continued to Jason, who was farther out, Havens had Brittany hold to him while he swam toward shore. Unable to escape the current by swimming parallel to shore, because of the channel configuration along with converging waves, Havens swam directly against it. After taking Brittany to wadable water, he returned to the channel with a rescue tube that had been offered from shore. Jason, meanwhile, had been returned part of the way to shore by Havens’s sons. Havens joined them, had Jason hold to the rescue tube, and again swam against the current the rest of the way toward shore, towing Jason as he was accompanied by his sons. Progress was arduous, Havens at one point swimming under water and pulling himself along the coral outcroppings. He and his sons reached wadable water with Jason, and all exited to safety. Havens sustained lacerations to his arms and legs from the coral, and he recovered.
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