Selfie-seeking couple who ignored warnings about rough surf on cliff-edge swept out to sea

A married couple “ignored warning signs” and got swept out to sea, all in the quest for the perfect photo.

The couple were reportedly from the US state of Oklahoma, vacationing on the Hawaiian island of Oahu.

They were swept out to sea by what has been described as “one of the biggest swells of the year”.

Witnesses told US news outlet ABC News the couple went down onto the cliff, ignoring the warning signs they would’ve walked past and falling into the ocean once on the cliff.

The surf was rough and separated the couple. Chevz Rafael, a witness, filmed the ordeal, while his wife called 911.

A couple striving for a perfect picture got dragged out to sea, in an area known for the violent waters. Source: Instagram/ Chevz Rafael

Chevz Rafael praised the lifeguards in an Instagram post.

“The lifeguards were the real heroes here,” he wrote. “They responded, arrived and were in the water in less than 9 minutes.”

Lt. Kawika Eckart who overseas the lifeguards in Hanauma Bay and conducted the rescue of the couple said the team was ready for anything.

"We had a jet ski operator in the ocean already due to the high surf; they responded from around the coast and met up with the [other] two lifeguards," Eckart told ABC News.

Eckart also said this isn’t the first time in his 30-year career someone has risked their lives to get a picture and a cliff with no lifeguards on duty.

Mr Rafael’s posts have been flooded with comments from people praising him and his wife for acting so quickly and calling emergency services.

“Thank you both for taking quick action,” someone said.

“We lose too many lives in the ocean every year. People are unaware how dangerous it can be.

“Thanks to you those two will be going home.”

One person, presumably a local commented on how dangerous that spot is.

“Never get that close to that spot,” the person said. “I know it well, seen many experienced fisherman die there.”

Mr Rafael geotagged the Instagram videos, indicating they were taken in Hālona Blowhole.

Leading Hawaii tourism site warns of the “sometimes violent waters” at the blowhole, saying that it overlooks some of the roughest seas in Hawaii.

A spokesperson from Honolulu Emergency Services Department confirmed to ABC News that the couple are in a stable condition.

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