Russell Saito, 22, relaxed at Sandy Beach after spending seven hours treading water off Lanai Lookout yesterday. The Honolulu Fire Department used its helicopter to rescue Saito, who went into the ocean for a short swim at 1 a.m. but got caught in a current. Saito, a former Kona resident who attends college in Berkeley, Calif., was uninjured.

Overnight swim leaves man
treading water for 7 hours

The Honolulu Fire Department rescued a man who spent more than seven hours in the ocean off East Oahu overnight.

Rescuers spotted Russell Saito, 22, about 1/2- to 3/4-mile offshore between Hanauma Bay and Lanai Lookout about 8:20 yesterday morning, said spokesman Capt. Kenison Tejada.

Saito was airlifted by the HFD chopper and flown to Sandy Beach Park.

Saito, who is from the Big Island and attends the University of California at Berkeley, said he was with friends and went swimming alone about 1 a.m. He was reported missing at about 1:45 a.m.

The fire department and the Coast Guard searched unsuccessfully for him until about 4:15 a.m. and then resumed the search at first light yesterday.

Saito was tired, but in good condition.


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