By Beth Hillyer
MAILI BEACH (KHNL) - Crystal Hatori describes what looked like a small tornado slam into their inflatable castle while camping at Maili Beach Park Saturday. Two children were playing inside. The wind then carried the castle about 50 feet into the ocean. Hatori recalls the terrifying ordeal and amazing ocean rescue.
She says her little girl climbed up high in the bounce house and that may have saved her life when it deflated and sank in the ocean.
Cousins Inez and Jonah Hatori will have a tale to tell the rest of their lives.
They were in the inflatable castle at Maili Beach Park Saturday when the gust of wind picked up the bounce house and tossed into the ocean.
Crystal Hatori explains, "It went up 20 feet probably and another 50 feet out to the ocean."
Even though it was staked down, the wind was too strong. Hatori confirms it was, "Pegged into ground with six pegs all around it. A gust of wind just pick them up, fly in the sky."
Jonah was tossed off in mid air but Inez was trapped inside. Hatori worries, "My whole life just flashed in front of my eyes, I just couldn't believe she was in there. I guess it was good she was in it and not the ocean, not fell out. That would have been worse if she fell out of the castle."
Deflating quickly, it started to sink with the child inside. "Seems like it went in the air and flew really fast. Wind took it and seemed like forever to get her," says Hatori.
A man on the beach grabbed a surfboard explains Hatori, "He paddled directly to the castle and when he got there he heard her crying and he went to the castle and she was actually hanging onto the net. She was not submerged in the water, did not drown."
Much to everyone's surprise a Hatori family member snorkling managed to find this blower out in the ocean. It was attached to the castle when it went airborne.