WAIMEA BAY, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu fire search and rescue crews pulled 12 people to safety in Haleiwa after their 25-foot Boston Whaler boat capsized Monday night.
The incident happened around 7:30 p.m. about 100 yards off of the "jumping rocks" at Waimea Bay.
A total of 14 people were initially on board but when they ran out fuel before sunset, two people – a 30-year-old man and 23-year-old woman -- decided to swim to shore to get help, according to fire officials.
Before they could make it back on a jet ski, boaters said the motor died and they started quickly taking on water when the bilge pump failed. Twelve people were apparently forced into the water, but all were wearing life jackets, officials said.
According to sources, a Coast Guard helicopter flying overhead managed to get a message down to the stranded boaters who had climbed on top of the sinking vessel to wait for help. They were reportedly told they should stay in place so that everyone could be accounted for -- including a 4-year-old girl.
Fire rescue crews arrived on scene about 10 minutes after the first call, and everyone was safely brought into the HFD boat and transported to Haleiwa Harbor.
It's unclear if the boat that capsized was overcapacity.
Passengers said they left around 1 p.m. Monday and were headed to Waimea Bay when they ran into trouble.
Officials said fortunately no one was injured.
Fire officials said the boat, which was being kept afloat by a buoy, had started drifting and appeared like it may wash ashore near Sunset Beach. They said they would continue to monitor the situation.