Lifeguards presented with commendations

LIHUE — Mayor Bryan Baptiste presented three County of Kauai lifeguards with Certificates of Commendation in recognition of their Memorial Day rescue, which saved the lives of four Kauai residents.

In the commendations, Mayor Baptiste acknowledged the dedication and compassion of Mark McKamey, Gavin Kennelly and Chris Pico during the dangerous rescue at Two Door Cave. He also thanked them for their courage as they selflessly risked their lives to save the lives of others, as the ocean swells that day created hazardous and life-threatening conditions.

Four people were stranded in the cave when their watercraft capsized. They were able to fire an emergency flare, which was seen by a passing tour boat. McKamey and Pico’s rescue plan included timing the ocean swells and bringing the victims out one by one, in between waves. They were joined by Kennelly, who was off-duty at the time but arrived to assist with the rescue when he learned of the situation. Witnesses of the rescue said it was the most dramatic they had ever seen.

The lifeguards were honored by the Mayor on Monday afternoon at the Moikeha Building Courtyard and then on his Hoike show, Kuleana, which will air at various times on Channel 13 next week.

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