Boys trying to retrieve slipper from canal recount moment flash flood swept them away

Boys trying to retrieve slipper from canal recount moment flash flood swept them away

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Two 10-year-old boys who got trapped in a raging canal Monday afternoon in Waipahu are both back home safe.

Cyrus Damo says he was playing along an area of the canal that runs behind Oasis Town homes Monday afternoon when he lost his slipper down the embankment.

In a matter of seconds, he says, the water went from being just a few inches deep to up to his chest.

“My friend Timothy. He tried to come help me. And dropped his skateboard down,” Damo said.

Timothy Phillip told HNN when he tried to grab his skateboard he got swept up in the current.

“I tried getting it. And the water was too hard,” said Phillip. “And it pushed me down and my friend came with me.”

Both boys were swept down the canal about the distance of a football field. The two lost sight of each other as the canal turned into a pair of tunnels that pass under Farrington Highway.

“The little concrete wall was in the middle of the two pipes,” said Damo. “I was getting washed in the first one and he was getting washed in the second one.”

Damo says he managed to grab onto that concrete divider and pull himself up out of the water.

Meanwhile, the swift current continued to carry Phillip about another 100 yards downstream, under Farrington Highway.

“I fell through the tunnel. And I hold on the tree,” Phillip said.

A tow truck driver at a nearby body shop heard the boy screaming for help.

“He saw the kid just hanging on for dear life,” said David Sato.

The manager of West Side Fender Body and Refinishing says the tow driver fashioned a lasso out of a rope he had in his truck.

“He threw the rope into the water and told the boy to put it around his waist,” Sato said. “And he told him to hold it tight close to his body.”

Sato says they called 911. EMS took the boy to the hospital as a precaution. Some how Phillip escaped with just a small cut on his thumb.

Damo didn’t have a scratch.

Tuesday morning the canal was all but dry. Just a few puddles here and there. Both boys say they walked away with a lesson: Not to play near the canal when it rains.

Copyright 2021 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.