It only took a few seconds for a pleasant day at the beach to turn into a nightmare.
In a video Keahi Tucker posted to Facebook, a Korean family’s vacation almost became a tragedy when they misjudged the current at Hawaii’s Sunset Beach:
A Korean family is asking for help to find the people who helped rescue their son at Sunset Beach yesterday. This video is a good reminder of how quickly a fun day at the beach can turn dangerous.
Posted by Keahi Tucker on Monday, 20 February 2017
Popular with surfers because of its big waves, the beach can be hazardous for swimmers.
For a few moments, everything seemed fine. Dad watched as Mom filmed their young boy playing in the surf. Then, under the horrified gaze of both parents, their son got caught in a powerful current near the shore.
Mom was the first to notice that the boy was in danger, but it was clear that she wouldn’t be able to pull him from the water.
The boy struggled to get free while a group of nearby beachgoers raced to the rescue. As the child was dragged down by the waves, the rescuers fought the rip current to reach him. Finally, one man managed to grab the boy and bring him to shore.
After a group of total strangers saved their son, the family shared the video, hoping to thank the people involved. What they didn’t realize was that keeping an eye on tourists who might not be used to the water conditions is just part of Hawaii’s “Aloha spirit.”
Multiple Facebook commenters wrote that it’s common for locals to watch out for tourists in danger:
One of the people involved in the rescue came forward and described the terrifying scene. According to Kristyn Fujimoto, saving the boy was a group effort that brought together locals and visitors alike:
Though relieved that the story had a happy ending, several people wrote that they hoped the video would teach visitors not to underestimate the strength of Hawaii’s ocean currents.
Many repeated the advice that you should never turn your back to the ocean. Others warned visitors that if there are no locals in the water, you shouldn’t swim either.
Lisa Lonokapu Cates summed up the concerns with a recommendation on how more visitors might see the family’s vacation video:
“They should run this clip on all Hawaii-bound flights as a PSA.”
And as one of the commenters pointed out, thanks to the Aloha spirit, this family was able to enjoy the rest of their vacation with all of their family members.