Awash With Gratitude To Lifeguards

Dear Pamela,

I was caught by a large, breaking wave in my kayak about 100 yards from shore off Makapuu Beach. I was separated from my kayak, and it eventually washed into the rocks. While in the water, I encountered more breaking waves, and with a lot of effort finally managed to get myself on to the beach. While I was struggling to tow my paddle, a body boarder came out to give me assurance that if I needed help he was there for me. When I did get to the beach, I took off to fetch what I thought would be pieces of my kayak but instead met three lifeguards who had plucked it off the rocks without too much damage. They told me that they were following my progress from the time I capsized and assured me that they were watching to see if I was going to make it to shore. When I noticed that it was a long, difficult way to the parking area, I asked if they could help me carry it there. With a real positive attitude, they then picked it up and carried it all the way. Their names are Valentino DeO-campo, Davin Sanborn and Kale Sylva. I feel that I owe them and the body boarder a great deal of gratitude for their support.

It’s another reason to say, “Lucky we live Hawaii.”

Chuck Larson

Dear Chuck,

“Ocean Safety is very humbled by Mr. Larson’s kind words and appreciates him reaching out to the lifeguards involved,” says Shayne Enright of the city Emergency Services Department. “These three men represent all of our lifeguards who choose every day to make our waters a safer place for visitors and residents. We are glad we were there for Mr. Larson, and we hope to see him out in the water soon.”

Dear Pamela,

I read your column weekly because I want to believe there are good people doing the right thing regardless of reward. Thus, I hope that you give Times Supermarkets a big shout out! Times in Kailua Town is truly a community store. My husband and I were doing our usual fitness walk when we noticed an elderly gentleman fall at the bus stop on Kailua Road, close to Times Supermarket. He appeared to be drunk and homeless, but since when is that a deterrent to offering help? What if he died?

There were two men who also witnessed the incident. My husband shouted across the street and asked them to call 911, but they chose to ignore our plea for help. We were not carrying our cell phones since we were “fitness” walking.

I went into Times for help while my husband tended to the gentleman, who appeared to have broken his right arm. The store manager was kind enough to let me use the phone to call 911. Unfortunately, the call got disconnected, and I had no idea how to dial out. So I went outside and used the public phone to call 911.

By the time I got back to my husband and the injured man, the store manager was there with her security guard, who assured us he would stay with the injured gentleman until the ambulance arrived.

I want everyone to know that Times truly stands for what it advertises: The employees are there for the “people,” regardless of status. They have a committed customer in me, and I hope that you give them the “spot” to shine and the citizens of Kailua to reflect.

Olivia C.

Dear Olivia,

“That was an amazing letter,” says Times Kailua manager Richard Davis, soon to be promoted to the Waialua store. “The crew has been here for 30 years, so you can tell they are totally dedicated. They know many of the customers by first names and treat them like ohana.”

Dear Pamela,

Applause to Robert, owner of Island Yogurt in Kailua, for jump-starting my car at the Costco gas station! More than a dozen cars passed me by until he stopped to help.

Naomi Shigenaga
Kamehameha Heights

Dear Naomi,

Robert Tuara of Island Yogurt also was surprised so many cars passed you by. “Her car was stalled right there at Alakawa,” he says. “I had to do something because I have a wife, too, yeah? I would want someone to help her in that situation.”

If you know someone who deserves some Applause, send your letters to Pamela Young, MidWeek Applause, KITV, 801 S. King St., Honolulu, HI 96813. Include your name, phone number and, if possible, the phone number of your “applaudee” so we can contact him or her.