WHT at 50: Konan cited for rescue and Bishop trustee mum

  • Paik
  • Wednesday, July 9, 1969 | Volume II, Issue XXVII

Wednesday, July 9, 1969 | Volume II, Issue XXVII

ON THE COVER

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“Carnagie Fund Cites Konan”

By Jim Langdon

Kwong Sin Paik of Captain Cook is named a Carnegie Hero by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission in Pittsburgh, Pa., for saving the life of 9-year-old Neal M. Okuna of Captain Cook on April 14, 1968. The award consists of a bronze meal and $750.

Paik, 48, recounted the three-hour rescue in which he had went to Hookena Beach to go spear fishing but just as he reached the pavilion, a man came running over asking him to call police as three people were in the water.

Paik instructed his daughters to call police while he went on with the man, driving the car as far as he could to Kealia Beach before grabbing an inner tube and goggles and running the remaining 3,000 feet across the lava rock to Lae Mamo Point. Surf was high, about 15 feet.

“When we spotted the boy he was floating face down. He already looked blueish and I thought at first he was dead. He was drifting dangerously close to the rocks. Then — and this is the strange part — I thought I heard a sound. I don’t know if I really heard it or not .. but I suddenly decided the boy might be alive. I threw the inner tube into the water and we wanted to time the waves so we could jump in from the point,” Paik said.

Jumping in with Paik was Joseph Canada, age 15. When they reached the boy they pulled him away from the rocky shoreline for safety as he was already unconscious.

“When we had gotten him out past the breakers, I had Joseph put the boy’s arms up over the inner tube while I applied artificial respiration in the water. Everything was instinctive. I put my thumbs in under the boy’s rib cage and then gave a hard jerk. Everything came up. Water, food, everything,” Paik recounted.

But that wasn’t the end of the ordeal. It was too rough to get in from where they were, and there was supposedly two other men swept out to sea. With Canada and the boy on the inner tube, Paik swam off to search, but never saw them.

Later, he learned that one had managed to scramble ashore. The boy’s father, Thomas Okuna, was found the next day, wedged in a lava cave, dead.

Still in the water, Paik and Joseph could see people lining the shore, including firemen and police personnel, but still no boat had come to pick them up. With no other course of action, Paik began the swim toward Hookena. But, the currents were strong and trying to tow the boys and inner tube proved too much.

Two hours later, they had covered only about 4,000 feet when help finally came with Louis Alani and his son. The two made the pick up in their canoe after being notified of the situation by Paik’s daughters.

“Trustee ‘Mum’ On Bishop Leasee Proposals”

No byline

Kona Bishop Estate leaseholders were looking toward a meeting with a majority of the Board of Trustees this week, following a fruitless and disappointing session Saturday afternoon with trustee Richard Lyman Jr.

The Konans, some of whom will face termination of their leases beginning next year, had hoped for response from Lyman on three proposals submitted to the Board last month by an ad hoc housing committee.

The proposals asked that the leasees not be relocated, that farmers be granted long-term leases, and that leasees be given an option to purchase house lots from the Estate.

But, Lyman doggedly evaded comment on the three proposals. He maintained, rather, that he was meeting with the Konans — about 15 members of the committee — in an effort to learn more about their “problems” so as to present a “complete picture” to his fellow trustees.

V Weekly deals:

At Hotel King Kamehameha: Taste-tempting Japanese complete dinners served on a lacquer tray in Oriental Fashion, shrimp tempura for $4.75, beef teriyaki for $4.50 and chicken sukiyaki for $4.75.

N Featured films:

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At Kona Theatre: “Toshigoro” and “Track of Thunder.” For adults only, “Hip, Hot And 21.”

At Aloha Theatre: “Escape From Fort Bravo,” “Ride Vaquero,” and “The Killing Of Sister George.”

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