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Hawai‘i Resident Awarded Heroism Medal

November 23, 2016, 10:00 AM HST
* Updated November 23, 7:02 AM
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carnagie-medalGov. David Ige presented Haleiwa resident Keoni Bowthorpe with the prestigious Carnegie Medal for civilian heroism on behalf of the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission at a ceremony at the State Capitol last week.

Bowthorpe was recognized for rescuing a shark attack victim on O‘ahu’s North Shore in October of 2015.

Bowthorpe is credited with fighting off an aggressive shark and taking severely injured Colin Cook on his back while paddling to shore on his paddle board.

Cook lost part of his left leg and part of a finger in the attack. Bowthorpe escaped unharmed.

Bowthorpe is one of 25 Carnegie Medal recipients recognized for outstanding civilian heroism. The medal is given in the United States and Canada to those who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others.

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The Carnegie Hero Fund will award each recipient or their survivors with a financial grant. The fund was established by industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie and has awarded $38.5 million in one-time grants, scholarship aid, death benefits and continuing assistance since it was established in 1904. Since then, 9,893 heroes have been honored by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission.

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