Carnegie Hero Kealii J. Akahane, who is also a Bellevue (Washington) policer was presented with the Carnegie Medal during a city council meeting held Sept. 18, 2023 at city hall.
On June 6, 2022, a teenage boy attempted suicide by loading a backpack with 50 pounds of dumbbell weights and entered Phantom Lake in Bellevue. Akahane and his partner were dispatched to the scene and while searching near a pier they noticed a collection of air bubbles and a hand reaching up just beneath the surface.
Akahane removed his equipment and entered the 11-foot-deep water where he submerged twice but was unable to locate the boy. Upon submerging a third time, Akahane felt something brush against his leg and grasped the boy’s arm to pull him to the surface. Akahane held the boy above the surface and swam him to the pier where his partner and another officer pulled the teenager up. They performed CPR, and the boy recovered.
Akahane was joined by friends and fellow Bellevue police officers to receive the medal. Before being presented the medal, the Mayor of Bellevue, Lynne Robinson, expressed the council’s appreciation and pride for what he had done.
“I know you and your colleagues wake up every morning and go to work willing to risk your lives for the people you serve, and this is an incredible example of just that,” Robinson said. “I want you to know how proud we are to have you and your colleagues in the city of Bellevue working for us and to have your spirit, courage, and compassion.”