Maui Police Honor Civilian for Warding Off Shark, Keeping Visitors Safe
The Maui Police Department’s Chief Tivoli Faaumu today honored Triston Kahookele-Santos with the Department’s Civilian Medal of Valor for his help in keeping a group of visitors safe after a shark bit the paddle board of a fellow ocean goer earlier this month.
The department reports that Kahookele-Santos was about a quarter mile offshore near Wailea when a shark began attacking a standup board operated by a Washington visitor. The incident was reported on Feb. 5, 2020.
Kahookele-Santos is credited with “calmly” giving a group of five out-of-state visitors instructions on how to stay safe, and then distracting the shark as it pursued the group back to shore.
The Civilian Medal of Valor is given to members of the public who distinguish themselves above and beyond the normal performance of a citizen by outstanding bravery and at the risk of their own life.