Firefighter rescues boy from near drowning


A California boy is recovering from a near drowning at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children on Oahu, police said Wednesday.

He was saved by an off-duty Hawaii Island firefighter who happened to be using the same pool where the incident happened.

East Hawaiian Battalion Chief Michael Hayashida said he was at the Sheraton Kona Resort &Spa at Keauhou Bay with his family on Tuesday, watching his children swim, when he first spoke with the 8-year-old boy, whose name he never learned. Later, Hayashida said he saw the boy come down the pool’s water slide, then appear to be holding on to a rope near the slide.

Hayashida asked his son, who was wearing a face mask, to check on the boy. His son did, reporting that the boy appeared to be just holding on to the rope. Hayashida said he became concerned something was wrong and dove into the pool. The boy had a pulse, but wasn’t breathing. His face and lips had turned blue, Hayashida said.

He pulled the boy out of the water, instructed his daughter to call 911 and got some towels to lay the child on the pool deck.

“I began rescue breathing” and the boy began to breathe on his own, Hayashida said.

Everything happened very quickly, he said, adding that his training kicked in when he realized the boy was in trouble.

Kona Patrol Capt. Randall Ishii said Wednesday the boy was taken to Kona Community Hospital in serious but stable condition. He was later transferred to Kapiolani on Oahu for additional treatment and observation.

“It looks like he’s going to be OK,” Ishii said.

No additional information about the boy or his family was available as of press time Wednesday.