Loved ones are mourning the loss of a Kailua diver who was killed when an inflatable boat ran over him and his stepson while they were diving in waters off Kailua.
Family members and friends of Sri Shim, 59, said he was an exceptional diver who knew what he was doing. They also said he was a well-respected surfer and a usual at the popular surf break Ala Moana Bowls. Shim ran the flower shop at the Hale Koa Hotel.
"He's one of the greatest, a cool guy, lot of heart. If you don't know how to surf, he'll go out there and give you some pointers. Where to be on the wave so that way you don't get into any kind of trouble," said surfer Brandon Soliven.
Surfer Ken Suiso added, "He's been a fixture at Ala Moana Bowls for years. So today, he probably woulda been out. So it’s sad he's not gonna be able to today. It's tragic," surfer
Shim's body was pulled from the water around 3 p.m. after a 24-foot inflatable Zodiac boat ran him and his stepson over around 1 p.m. His 25-year-old stepson was sent to the hospital in serious condition.
The Medical Examiner's Office said Monday that Shim died from blunt force and boat propeller injuries. His manner of death has been classified an accident.
Shim's death shocked the surf community, which was like a second family to the waterman.
"I'm still in shock," said longtime surf friend Clarence Kaili.
Kaili said he and Shim would surf Ala Moana Bowls together back in the 60s and they just surfed together a few days ago.
"He was a neat guy, anytime you needed help, he was a true friend you could count on," said Kaili.
Some surfers on Sunday credited the good surf to Shim's presence.
“My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends, it's a tragedy," Suiso said.
Police are investigating the incident. The Honolulu Medical Examiner's Office said Shim’s autopsy will be conducted Monday.