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Girl drowns at Pokai Bay; sister seriously injured

By Michael Tsai

LAST UPDATED: 08:51 p.m. HST, Jun 15, 2014

A 12-year-old girl died and her 9-year-old sister was left in serious but stable condition on Sunday after they were found a half-hour apart, alone and unattended, in waters off Pokai Bay Beach Park.

Beachgoers in the area found the younger girl drifting in and out of consciousness in shallow water and brought her to shore. 

Ocean Safety, Emergency Medical Services and Honolulu Fire Department personnel attended to the girl, who was then transported to an area hospital in serious but stable condition, according to EMS spokeswoman Shayne Enright.

EMS workers used a public address system in their vehicle to locate the girl's father, Enright said.

It was not known at the time that the girl also had an older sister in the area.

About a half-hour after the initial call, beachgoers spotted the 12-year-old sister submerged in the same area.

Witnesses, including off-duty firefighters, brought the girl to shore and performed CPR until Ocean Safety, EMS and HFD personnel returned to assume care, Enright said.

The girl was transported in extremely critical condition to an area hospital, where she later died.

"Nobody had eyes on this girl," Enright said. "It's important that parents understand that we've got to watch our children."

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honokai wrote:
The SA should really change the headline before this goes to print. A twelve year old and a nine year old away from their parents in Pokai Bay is not unusual. Please think about the hurt you are putting on the family here by running with this story this way before the facts come out.
on June 15,2014 | 06:35PM
soundofreason wrote:
That's kinda point . It SHOULD be unusual.
on June 15,2014 | 06:47PM
honokai wrote:
Actually, no. Pokai Bay is about a mile wide. This is no different than leaving your 12 year old to baby sit your 9 year old. I would be really surprised to see any actual parents post hate in this discussion.
on June 15,2014 | 06:52PM
soundofreason wrote:
Babysitting....IN A HOUSE.... is QUITE different that having a 12 yr old managing themselves AND and another in a risk situation. Dear God, tell me you don't have children.
on June 15,2014 | 10:31PM
paulokada wrote:
Agree. They drop their kids off for the Lifeguard to babysit.
on June 15,2014 | 07:06PM
honokai wrote:
Army sets that age as Under 10 ------ > U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii ---- This guidance, among other standards, is outlined in U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Policy #34, which states that children under 10 must be supervised within family housing areas of Island Palm Communities, at playgrounds, at bus stops and in any other places outside military family housing.
on June 15,2014 | 08:02PM
soundofreason wrote:
Some of that there great "local" parenting going on.
on June 15,2014 | 06:42PM
soundofreason wrote:
I'll be the first to apologize if I'm wrong.
on June 15,2014 | 06:48PM
honokai wrote:
Your apology is not necessary for the rest of us. But if it helps you, please do.
on June 15,2014 | 06:54PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Local parenting? Comment must be from the mainland.
on June 15,2014 | 08:51PM
HAJAA1 wrote:
No kidding. As if there is better parenting on the mainland. LOL. I highly doubt it. Soundofreason likes to hear itself speak is all.
on June 16,2014 | 12:20AM
rayhawaii wrote:
So sad I see it all the time over there. Parents doing their thing while kids in the water. I always watch the other kids and mine. So Sad.
on June 15,2014 | 06:48PM
soundofreason wrote:
Because THIS is UNacceptable each and every time. Just makes me angry to have needless deaths.
on June 15,2014 | 06:51PM
honokai wrote:
Your anger is meaningless compared to the pained this family is going through. You are free to post whatever you want. But is is just letter typed on a keyboard. You don't know this people. And I am positive that you will do nothing to help or support them. While you do not understand aloha, I am confident that you can find it if you look.
on June 15,2014 | 07:00PM
Poipounder808 wrote:
The fact they had to use their loudspeaker to find the family pretty much proves the point that no one was watching them...some people should not be allowed to have children.
on June 15,2014 | 07:35PM
honokai wrote:
You are saying that anyone with a 12 year old girl and a 9 year old girl that leaves them alone are unfit to be parents. This is your opinion. But I seriously doubt it reflects norms in the community.
on June 15,2014 | 07:50PM
nana808 wrote:
At home maybe but I would never leave my kids alone at the beach unattended. Maybe I'm an overprotective parent but I know a lot of parents just like me. I keep my eye on them because I would be worried that something like this would happen to them.
on June 15,2014 | 08:01PM
honokai wrote:
If you are up at a grass area undena tent enjoying the day with family, and your twelve year old and nine year head down to the water from your sight, you might be the one that gets out of your chair. But you might also think about it and decide to stay. If you stay you would find yourself in the world of unending hurt. But not deserving of pathetic public scorn.
on June 15,2014 | 08:16PM
soundofreason wrote:
"If you are up at a grass area undena tent enjoying the day with family, and your twelve year old and nine year head down to the water from your sight,">>> There's my point. MY kids were trained NOT to leave our sides.
on June 15,2014 | 10:37PM
kuniagirl wrote:
I'm local, born and raised. It's not ok to leave kids of this age alone. Never mind just the water issue, the pervert issue. Never left my daughter and her friends alone at those girls' ages. I'm sorry for the family, but seriously, two girls just hours apart?
on June 15,2014 | 08:24PM
soundofreason wrote:
THANK you for that breath of sanity.
on June 15,2014 | 10:38PM
soundofreason wrote:
Then that community has no commons sense. Common sense communities don't have kids drowning.
on June 15,2014 | 10:35PM
sailfish1 wrote:
honokai - you know these people? What are YOU going to do to help or support them? What's aloha about kids dying?
on June 15,2014 | 08:24PM
soundofreason wrote:
The "paining" is something you want to think about BEFORE allowing your kids into situations that CAUSE "paining". BEFORE.
on June 15,2014 | 10:34PM
Anonymous wrote:
12 years old should be old enough to leave a kid alone.
on June 15,2014 | 07:25PM
honokai wrote:
This is a judgment call by the parents. But there is certainly not a presumption of wrong doing.
on June 15,2014 | 07:53PM
kuniagirl wrote:
Well, terrible call. who are supposed to be responsible for their kids' welfare if not the parents?
on June 15,2014 | 08:25PM
soundofreason wrote:
Neglect IS wrong doing. Adults drown. Don't put kids in a situation that adults die in.
on June 15,2014 | 10:41PM
sailfish1 wrote:
This situation proves otherwise, doesn't it?
on June 15,2014 | 08:21PM
RetiredWorking wrote:
Anonymous, it's always best to surpervise kids swimming. After this tragic accident, I will never allow my grandkids to swim alone, even with each other. My daughter is even more protective.
on June 15,2014 | 09:33PM
soundofreason wrote:
Doesn't quite explain the NINE year old.
on June 15,2014 | 11:02PM
honokai wrote:
----------- UNDER 10 -------------------- U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Public Affairs WHEELER AMRY AIRFIELD — Minor children cannot be left alone and unsupervised on post. This guidance, among other standards, is outlined in U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Policy #34, which states that children under 10 must be supervised within family housing areas of Island Palm Communities, at playgrounds, at bus stops and in any other places outside military family housing. For example, if a child walks to school and he or she is less than 10 years old, a parent or an appropriate caregiver must accompany the child. The caregiver could be an older sibling, another adult or the parent. Similarly, if a child under 10 lives off post and walks on post for school, the child must be escorted when he or she enters the Army installation. “These policies are established for the safety of our children and our community,” said Lt. Col. Robert Arnold, executive officer, Directorate of Emergency Services, USAG-HI. “Though the policy states that ‘parents are ultimately responsible for the welfare and actions of their children,’ military police and Department of the Army civilian police are charged with maintaining safety and security throughout USAG-HI installations. “The safety and security of children is paramount,” Arnold added. “When parents follow USAG-HI Policy #34, it helps us protect the children within our military communities.” Vast research has been conducted and studied to determine appropriate age ranges for child supervision, according to the Family Advocacy Program in USAG-HI’s Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation. The policy memorandum also specifies youth must complete a mandatory baby sitter course to baby-sit or supervise non-siblings.
on June 15,2014 | 08:01PM
jomama wrote:
Reality is that most kids who drown do so within eyesight of a supervising adult anyway. Most people are not able to recognize when a drowning is occurring. It is usually a silent event, with no call out or arm waving. Just a person struggling to keep their mouth and nose above water.
on June 15,2014 | 09:03PM
RetiredWorking wrote:
jomama, agree. I almost drowned on two separate occasions in the same pool. One was a silent event, with kids around and a couple feet from the ledge. Lifeguard reached out and grabbed me. On the other occasion, I struggled and swallowed water until I reached safety.
on June 15,2014 | 09:19PM
Skyler wrote:
Same here, but it only happened once. 3rd cousin reached in & grabbed me on the 3rd time down.

For anyone who cares, this TODAY article might be helpful: http://www.today.com/health/drowning-often-quick-silent-how-spot-someone-trouble-6C10223428

on June 15,2014 | 11:08PM
FLIPTOP2 wrote:
How tragic - no parent should suffer such losses. Saying this, my family has been here at Pokai Bay since Thursday evening and just last night while taking our 3 grandkids, ages 10, 6, and 4 crab hunting, we stumbled upon a 4 year old sitting on the beach by herself in the dark and away from family. She could not tell us where her family was. I told my wife I could not comprehend how a parent wouldn't know such a young child could be away from her ohana. And here today we are still at Pokai Bay and saw on the news of this sad sad event. As much as I want to condemn the family of these two girls, this will not bring the girls back. We gave our 3 grandkids an extra hug tonight. We will pray for the Ohana who is suffering such a tragic loss tonight.
on June 15,2014 | 09:27PM
Jerry_D wrote:
You sure that wasn't the ghost you stumbled upon? Read about the ghost of the four-year-old in "Obake Files," I think...
on June 15,2014 | 09:55PM
niimi wrote:
The implications from the gallery here screams that if you mess up even just one time, THROW THE BOOK AT THE PARENTS! ARREST THEM! CALL CPS AND HAVE THE CHILDREN TAKEN AWAY FOREVER! BAD PARENTS! For goodness sake, folks, please get a life.
on June 15,2014 | 10:34PM
soundofreason wrote:
Just how many kids should neglectful parent be allowed to kill? What's that number?
on June 15,2014 | 11:04PM
Skyler wrote:
Actually... no one needed to call CPS, because they were taken away by the ocean.
on June 15,2014 | 11:09PM
DDOrange wrote:
Messing up is forgetting to pick up your child from school or the babysitters. This is worse than "messing up". Two of your children? C'MON MAN! Doesn't this give you a clue to this person's parenting skills, or lack thereof?
on June 16,2014 | 08:08AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Dear Mike, Please include a google location of Pokai Bay Beach Park, Thank You Very Much, Lex. p.s. Only kidding of course. Everyone one of u could be considered Star-Advertiser Staff, however because I am donating $19.95 per month to the plate collection, I get to do a little of this and that.
on June 15,2014 | 10:47PM
soundofreason wrote:
"Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death for children ages 1 to 14 years, and the fifth leading cause for people of all ages.">>>> ACT ACCORDINGLY. Ignorance/neglect is not an excuse.


on June 15,2014 | 11:14PM
gmedley wrote:
I know a guy who's motto is "I can't swim- but I will never drown." He doesn't like or participate in water sports, etc. He doesn't place himself in those situations.
on June 16,2014 | 12:15PM
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