Hawaii Island man celebrated for swift action saving two distressed swimmers

Pono Nakamura was recognized for his life-saving actions.
Pono Nakamura was recognized for his life-saving actions.(Hawaii County)
Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 4:32 PM HST|Updated: Sep. 13, 2023 at 4:57 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Hawaii County employee was recognized for going above and beyond to save the lives of two swimmers in August.

Parks and Recreation Supervisor Pono Nakamura was off the clock and on his boat fishing on Aug. 6 when police got the call for distressed swimmers near Mahukona Beach Park.

His father, Steven Nakamura, alerted a responding officer that Pono was reachable by phone. Pono then rushed to Mahukona Pier. Accompanied by his father Steven, and Ted Matsuda, they embarked on a rescue mission and safely retrieved two women before first responders could arrive.

Mayor Mitch Roth and other county officials gathered Wednesday at the Kohala Intergenerational Center to recognize Pono for his act of heroism.

“We are immensely proud to have individuals like Pono Nakamura in our community who are willing to step up without hesitation to help those in need. His courage and selflessness reflect the true essence of the Aloha spirit that defines Hawaiʻi,” Hawaii County Mayor Mitch Roth said.

Pono received a Certificate of Commendation and a heartfelt letter of appreciation from Mayor Roth.