We always hope that in an emergency, especially when human life is at stake, we’ll react heroically. A group of beachgoers in Hawaii this week did exactly that.
The moment came when 8-year-old Ryon Kim, a Korean tourist visiting the beach with his mother and grandfather on Sunday. Suddenly, time froze when his mother ran into the frame, aware that something was rapidly going wrong, according to Korean News site ROKDrop.
As Ryon attempted to stand and leave the water, he was sucked under by a rip current. In seconds, a crowd of nearby people swarmed the area as Ryon went under, frantically reaching below the surface to grab for the boy.
It’s a story that fortunately ends well. Not all of them do. News anchor Keahi Tucker of Hawaii News Now posted the video to his Facebook page. You can watch it below.
According to a recent 10-year study by the Hawaii Department of Health, drowning represents 51 percent of all Hawaii deaths for non-residents (tourists). For residents, the number is 5 percent.
Independent Journal Review published an account by one of Kim Ryon’s rescuers. Kristyn Fujimoto gave a first-hand account of the determination and split-second teamwork of those involved.
The family is looking for the group of brave rescuers to properly thank them. According to Tucker’s Facebook responses, most of the rescuers are known to locals and this sort of thing happens fairly regularly. Despite repeated warnings, tourists tend not to recognize the extreme danger that rip currents can pose.
Parents, respect the water. Never let your children go beyond a depth where they would be safe on their own. Never take your eyes off of them, and always be aware of could be out there.
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