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Canadian tourist survives after plunging off Big Island cliff, being swept out to sea

By Jeremy Lee

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    SOUTH POINT, Hawaii (KITV) — Local spear fishermen called Hawaii County authorities early Sunday morning after a rented Jeep drove straight off of a cliff after 3 a.m., not far from the South Point cliff dive.

Miraculously, the driver survived.

The incident took place roughly a mile away from the South Point cliff dive on Hawaii Island. It was at 3:30 a.m. that a rental car took an unintentional dive off of this Seacliff, after taking a turn down the hill on a dirt road.

The road is most commonly used by local spear fishermen, some of whom camp overnight. A fisherman named Jason described the cliffside road to Island News as, “Super dangerous on the side of the island. And if you don’t know what you’re doing, you can get yourself in pretty big trouble.”

It was two local spear fishermen that were asleep at 3.30 a.m. and called in the accident to Hawaii County after being woken up by the crash. The driver of the Jeep that fell off the cliff was swept out to sea about 100 yards and then directed back to shore.

He suffered from mild hypothermia according to the Hawaii County Fire Department. The video of the Jeep being pulled from the water was taken by “Waterman_Mike” on Instagram.

“My dive partner was up for the whole thing. He got woken up by the fisherman that the driver almost hit. It was a young guy down there, maybe 18 years old,” Mike Moody told Island News, “I don’t know who he was, but he said that the car had gone off the cliff just to the right of him.”

Moody told Island News the whole scene took him by surprise. “The driver’s side was jammed up with a rock so he couldn’t get out. Obviously it was upside down on the roof so he was upside down and hanging right over the water on the passenger side,” Moody said, “He probably had no idea there’s water underneath him. He just opened the door and the kid said he had just fallen straight out into the water.”

The Hawaii County Police Department told Island News that the man driving the Jeep is 27 years old and visiting from Canada. He was taken to a local hospital for recovery.

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