It took two hours for the rescuers to free the victim, a 29-year-old Chinese, who sustained bruises, abrasions, and lacerations.
The victim's husband and another male friend, who also helped in the rescue, sustained similar injuries and were treated at the Commonwealth Health Center.
Police officer Jason Tarkong said yesterday that the three victims were discharged at 5:30pm Friday after a doctor determined that their injuries were not serious.
Tarkong said the Department of Public Safety dispatched Boating Safety officers to a reported possible drowning incident at the Grotto dive spot on Friday at 11:45am.
Upon arrival, the officers learned from tourists and bystanders that a tourist was stuck underneath a rock and was still alive. The victim was trapped in a small cave with her hand sticking out of a hole.
Tarkong said the entrance of the cave was some six feet into the water and hazardous surf conditions at the time made it unsafe for dive rescue units to enter the water.
Tarkong said Boating Safety officer Nobert Pua decided to break the rock and extract the victim through the hole.
DPS Fire's Search and Rescue Unit members came and assisted the Boating Safety officers in the rescue. Both teams used ropes, a sledgehammer, and an axe to rescue the victim.
Tarkong said the rescue teams managed to carve out a hole about two feet in diameter to free the trapped tourist.
Preliminary police investigation showed that several Chinese tourists had arrived at the bottom of the Grotto around 11:30am to take pictures.
After taking pictures, the tourists walked up the stairs, but a large surge of waves came crashing in. One of the waves swept the victim into the water. The husband jumped into the water to save her but another wave came in and smashed the couple against the rocks.
The victim got sucked into a small cave. The husband tried to reach the cave, but big waves kept smashing him up against the rocks.
The husband swam away and managed to get back on shore. As he was searching for her, he overheard her yelling for help. The husband saw his wife's arm sticking out of a small hole inside the cave. She was yelling out his name and asking him to help her.
The husband grabbed her arm and asked members of their group to call for help.
A second man helped the husband hold on to the victim's hand. The surge of waves, however, continued to smash up against the rocks, causing them to sustain bruises and lacerations.
Source: Saipan Tribune