JOE: A BIG ISLAND COUPLE SURVIVED MORE THAN 17 HOURS ADRIFT AT SEA– BY HOLDING ON TO A PIECE OF DRIFTWOOD… SURROUNDED BY SHARKS. JENN BONEZA SPOKE WITH THE COUPLE WHO SAY THEY SURVIVED, BECAUSE THEY HAD EACH OTHER. JENN? JENN: AMANDA LINDSEY AND JOHNSTEN CUMMINGS TELL ME LAST THURSDAY WAS LIKE ANY OTHER DAY. THEY WENT TO WORK. JOHNSTEN CAME HOME AND THEY DECIDED TO GO FISHING. THEY VISITED A SPOT THEY GO TO OFTEN NEAR KUKUIHAELE IN HONOKAA. THEY WERE THERE A HALF AN HOUR WHEN JOHNSTEN GOT HIS FIRST BIG BITE AND THAT’S WHEN EVERYTHING CHANGED. JOHNSTEN CUMMINGS: ” I hooked up on a fish, was trying to bring it in, went to the edge almost got it out and then a wave came from the back and pushed me in.” the couple had devised a plan in case either one of them fell into the ocean. Amanda immediately jumped into action. AMANDA LINDSEY: “I saw him, I didn’t know if he was hurt. he could hear me yelling at him to swim out. so I ran to our bag, I got a rope, I latched it onto something and I tried to throw it out at him and a wave came and knocked me in too ” they were swept into the ocean around 4pm. Amanda tells me they tried to swim back in but the surge was too strong. JENN: what is your reaction and what is the conversation you two are having after the sun goes down and you realize you might have to sit here a while longer?” AMANDA: ” he told me we just have to wait it out we’re going to have to survive. ” they were terrified but say they tried to distract themselves. JOHNSTEN: ” we had a few jokes, we had some weird conversations and we just kept talking to each other and asked if we were okay. ” they attempted to swim into Waipio valley but couldn’t make it past the point. AMANDA: at that point it was probably about 3 o’clock in the morning and we were just exhausted. we kind of both started to come quiet and that’s when I noticed there was sharks around us ” AMANDA: “I could see the fin swim past us, it was really weird. we both kilnd of knew tehy were there.” the couple drifted past Waipio overnight and the current shifted back at dawn. with the sunrise came a feeling of relief and hope they tell me several helicopters flew over them before one finally spotted them AMANDA: ” we were splashing around and he passed too and we saw him come back and we were just so relieved that someone saw us” AMANDA: ” we were overwhelmed with feelings and we knew that we were going to be okay and just started laughing to each other” JENN: “what has this experience taught you? JOHNSTEN: never take your eyes off the water, like they say” JENN: AMANDA AND JOHNSTEN SAY THEIR RESCUE WAS EMOTIONAL AND THEY ARE FOREVER GRATEFUL TO RYAN MOELLER THE HELICOPTER PILOT WHO SPOTTED THEM. THEY PLAN TO MEET HIM TOMORROW. I SPOKE TO RYAN. HE SAYS HE IS THANKFUL HE SAW THEM. HE ALMOST DIDN’T FLY OVER THE OCEAN, BUT SAYS SOMETHING INSIDE HIM TOLD HIM TO GO THAT WAY. HE BELIEVES A HIGHER POWER WAS WATCHING OVER ALL OF THEM. JOE.