Nikolas Wrye, 15, rescued a man at Makua Beach on 01/16/2016. Wrye had taken Jr. lifeguarding classes over the summer at Makaha Beach which taught him what to do in the emergency. Senator Maile Shimabukuro, her ohana, and friends were also there. Wrye’s grandmother, Peppy Rapoza, noticed from the shore a man drowning and calling for help. Rapoza yelled to catch Shimabukuro’s attention about the drowning man.
Shimabukuro’s friend, Michael Cuban, quickly rushed to save the man. However, Wrye was already out body boarding and he and others paddled over to the man. Cuban coached them on what to do as they headed out to the man after four big sets of waves. When Wrye grabbed the man’s arm to pull him onto his body board, the man was panicking and exhausted from being pounded by the waves. Fortunately, the rescue was successful and the man survived.
“If Maile’s big ohana hadn’t been there, the man would have drowned,” said Rapoza. “The Jr. lifeguard classes that my grandson took also helped. I hope they keep the Jr. lifeguarding program. We need it on the West Side since the ocean is our playground.”
If you are interested in taking Jr. lifeguard classes, visit: http://www.honolulu.gov/esdosls/juniorlifeguards.html
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