Three Israeli surfers came out heroes after saving eight children from drowning in the waters off Hawaii. Tzvika Elias, Yair Naftali and Gabi Liptz—Israelis who live in the US – were out surfing when they caught sight of the children struggling to stay afloat as huge waves battered the coast.
Naftali told Israel’s Channel 2 News that they saw the mothers of the children – aged 12 to 14 – watching helplessly from shore.
Elias explained that every time one of the surfers managed to grab hold of a child, “he was immediately swept away again.”
Although emergency crews were called to the scene, Naftali said they were kept at a distance because “the waves were so high, all they could do was watch as we tried to get the children out of the water.”
The incident occurred on Saturday (Feb. 9) at a remote beach half an hour from Honolulu. The three Israeli friends had gone there because the “waves there were high, huge breakers about four meters high, and as the minutes past, the waves got stronger and even higher,” Elias told Channel 2.
In the end, it took the trio 40 minutes to get all the children to safety. The worried parents on shore announced they had found new heroes.