'A nightmare': Kauai man dies after jumping into stream to save dog

Published: Aug. 29, 2018 at 3:21 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 30, 2018 at 1:25 PM HST
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Joshua Bradbury (right) was swept up in floodwaters during heavy rains on Kauai. (Image: Family)
Joshua Bradbury (right) was swept up in floodwaters during heavy rains on Kauai. (Image: Family)

KOLOA, KAUAI (HawaiiNewsNow) - A 30-year-old man apparently drowned Tuesday after jumping into a rain-swollen Kauai stream to try to save a dog.

It's the only death associated with the tropical cyclone that was once Hurricane Lane.

Officials said the victim, Joshua Bradbury, was seen jumping into a fast-moving Waikomo Stream to try to save a dog about 2:40 p.m. His body was found several hours later along the west bank of the stream.

On Monday and Tuesday Kauai was battered by heavy rains from lingering rain bands associated with the cyclone that was once Hurricane Lane. Parts of the island got more than 2 feet of rain, and widespread flooding prompted schools to close and roadways to be shut down.

Bradbury's friends and family members said Wednesday they were still in shock and trying to process the tragedy.

"It's a nightmare, you know? Something you never hope anybody to experience," said Bradbury's father, Rob. "It's the hardest thing I ever experienced in my life."

Bradbury's best friend, Noah Foote, said the trouble all started in his backyard.

He and Bradbury were watching the raging waters of Waikomo Stream when they spotted a dog in distress on the shore. The dog decided to try to swim across the stream, which is when Bradbury rushed to save it.

"He jumped in the stream," Foote said. "I ran through the bushes, and I saw Josh pretty much push the puppy towards me."

After the dog was back on on land, Foote says Bradbury seemed to be in control as he was carried downstream, but then he says he saw Bradbury approach a culvert — and then he disappeared.

Several hours later, Foote was the one to find his friend's body.

"My heart is pounding 100 mph right now. I was crying all last night. It really is just a dream and it hasn't hit home yet," Foote said. "I'm going to miss everything about him. He was my best friend and my brother."

Bradbury's family got the devastating phone call from police on Tuesday night.

Bradbury's father says his son loved playing basketball and clearly loved animals. He said he was the kind of person who would not hesitate to help someone — or something — in need.

"He's that kind of a person that everything else would go out of his mind and he just went into action," Rob Bradbury said. "The 30 years that he was with us was a blessing to all of us, especially me."

This story will be updated.

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