January 19th 2011 04:08
: Vyoos news
How romantic can it be for a couple to go kayaking together through the wilderness of America's Florida Keys? It is the sort of thing which is guaranteed to bring two people closer together, especially when a barracuda jumps out of the water and strikes one of them with such force that several ribs are broken and her chest is sliced open.
This is what happened recently to Karri Larson, 46. From paddling quietly she suddenly found herself unable to breathe - because the barracuda has sliced into her lung.
Larson may have spent a few seconds, unable to breathe, looking at her boyfriend, Michael Hinoiosa, wondering if he could by some miracle action save her life.
He could. Hinoiosa knew just what to do. He reached into Larson's chest and squeezed closed the lacerated lung. This allowed her to breathe again. Then, with his spare hand, he grabbed his mobile phone and rang the emergency number.
It is reported that the person at the other end of the line, having been given a summary of the situation and an approximate position of the kayak, asked where Hinoiosa planned to row the kayak and his stricken girlfriend.
Sitting there among the mangroves, Hinoiosa stayed calm. "I'm holding her ribs with one hand. I cannot paddle this kayak anywhere right now. I need you guys to come to me," he said, saving a life while simultaneously briefing someone who wasn't fully comprehending the situation.
It seems a US Coast Guard vessel could not be dispatched to the couple because the water in their vicinity was too shallow, but a tugboat captain named Kevin Freestone volunteered to head into the mangroves to look for them.
It took him 30 minutes to find them, Hinoiosa all this time keeping Larson alive with his holding her lung together and, no doubt, plenty of reassurances.
As soon as Freestone got the pair into open water, they were airlifted to hospital, where Karri Larson is expected to make a full recovery.
As for Hinoiosa, we hope he gets a dozen medals. What a hero.