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Maui Police Honor Civilian for Warding Off Shark, Keeping Visitors Safe

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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.

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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.

Chief Tivoli Faaumu honors Triston Kahookele-Santos with the department’s Civilian Medal of Valor. PC: Maui Police Department

Background photo courtesy Maui Police Department. Photo inlay: Standup paddle board with shark bite. (2.5.20) PC: Hawai’i DLNR.

Triston Kahookele-Santos was honored with the Maui Police Department’s Civilian Medal of Valor. PC: Maui Police Department

Triston Kahookele-Santos was honored with the Maui Police Department’s Civilian Medal of Valor. PC: Maui Police Department

Triston Kahookele-Santos was honored with the Maui Police Department’s Civilian Medal of Valor. PC: Maui Police Department

Chief Tivoli Faaumu honors Triston Kahookele-Santos with the department’s Civilian Medal of Valor. PC: Maui Police Department

Triston Kahookele-Santos was honored with the Maui Police Department’s Civilian Medal of Valor. PC: Maui Police Department

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