Bystanders rescue boy swept into raging canal in Waipahu

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — In Waipahu, two kids were swept into a raging canal Monday afternoon. Luckily, bystanders were able to hear one of the kid’s screams and were able to spring into action to save him.

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It happened just after 4 p.m. at the Waipahu Canal near Westside Fender, Body and Refinishing. David Sato, the business’ vice president said a tow truck driver started hearing screams and cries in the direction of the canal.

“We were having a vehicle picked up from one of our providers. While he was hooking it up, he heard some screams coming from the canal over here. So, he ran out to the canal, and he saw a little boy hanging from that tree over there.”

David Sato, witness

Sato says the boy was desperately hanging to a tree branch on the corner of the canal, while being bombarded with raging waters. The tow-truck driver quickly ran to get his tools.

“He went back to his tow truck, grabbed the rope, ran out there by the pipes, the fence, made a lasso, threw it down to him to put it around his waist, and then he made it snug and he just told him to hold on while he pulled him up,” said Sato.

Five more employees provided back-up, successfully pulling the boy to safety.

“We brought him into the shop, dried him up, gave him a jacket, asked him questions (like) what his name was. He was pretty shocked and stunned.”


Shortly after the rescue, the boy told them he wasn’t alone.

“He said his other friend was still in the water somewhere,” said Sato.

They called 9-1-1. Honolulu Fire Department crews searched the canal for the boy’s friend. Eventually, HFD reported finding the boy safe at home after he pulled himself out of the water.

Emergency Medical Services say the other boy that was initially rescued was 10 years old. He was transported to the hospital for minor scrapes after being pulled out.

“Water does fill up a bit and rush, but I’ve never seen it to the point where people were floating down the canal,” said Sato.

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