Survivor swims to shore after plane crashUPDATED 6:57 PM HST Dec 13, 2013Video Transcript
PAUSE FOR OPEN A survivor of the Molokai plane crash tells KITV he had NO IDEA Health Director Loretta Fuddy was in the final moments of her life when he decided to make a swim for shore. He talked to KITV4 News tonight about the crash and the aftermath... KITV-4's Andrew Pereira has our continuing coverage... Andrew? Kenny, Yunji... Phillip Holstein says Fuddy did not appear injured and no one on board the plane panicked. Rough ocean conditions, smoke flares in the water and survivors being hoisted to safety. These pictures taken by Kao- hulani McGuire show the aftermath of Wednesday's dramatic ditching of a Makani Kai Cessna Grand Caravan off Kalaupapa. Molokai resident Kirk Dela Cruz watched from shore as survivors bobbed in the ocean. KIRK DELA CRUZ: "I SAW ALL THE LIFE VESTS AND I SAW ONE PERSON AT THE POINT AND HE WAS TRYING TO COME IN." The person swimming toward the rocky shoreline was 70-year-old Phillip Holstein, a U.S. Army vet who travelled to Molokai as part of his fire sprinkler business. PHILLIP HOLSTEIN: "I GOT TIRED OF JUST WAITING AROUND, SO I FIGUERED I BETTER GET GOING YOU KNOW MAYBE I CAN TELL SOMEONE WHAT'S HAPPENING AND WHAT. SO, I JUST KIND OF TOOK OFF." Holstein says it was shortly after takeoff when he heard a dull pop. Less than a minute later, the plane was in the water. Holstein credits Makani Kai pilot Clyde Kawasaki for keeping the plane upright upon impact. PHILLIP HOLSTEIN: "HIS CONTROL OF THE AIRPLANE IS WHY WE'RE STILL HERE AS FAR AS I CAN SEE. YOU KNOW HE DID EVERYTHING RIGHT." Holstein says no one panicked as the plane came to a standstill. He tried to open the door closest to him, but it would not budge. A fellow passenger, Jacob Key, was able to pry open the main cabin door and one- by-one everyone used the built-in steps to "walk" into the ocean. PHILIP HOLSTEIN: "SO EVEN THOUGH THE WATER WAS COMING IN, BUT IT WAS... I'M SURE IT MADE IT EASIER FOR PEOPLE TO GET OUT, THEY JUST GO DOWN THE STEPS AND LIKE GOING INTO A SWIMMING POOL. PHILIP HOLSTEIN: "NONE OF THIS PANIC STUFF LIKE YOU SEE IN THE MOVIES. EVERYBODY WAS EXCELLENT." Before beginning his mile-long swim back to shore, Holstein noticed state Health Director Loretta Fuddy clinging to her deputy Keith Yamamoto. PHILIP HOLSTEIN: "I KNOW HE WAS WATCHING HER JUST BECAUSE HE WAS WITH HER, THEY TRAVEL TOGETHER AND ALL THAT STUFF. AS FAR AS HER GIVING ANY SIGNS OF DISTRESS, I DIDN'T SEE ANYTHING." Holstein has yet to be interviewed by the National Transportation Safety Board, but expects to be contacted soon.