Keawe Michael Pestana died attempting to save his three young cousins from drowning, Riggins, Idaho, April 26, 2019. The siblings, a 10-year-old boy, 6-year-old girl, and 3-year-old boy, were canoeing with their father in the Salmon River when their canoe’s end tipped upward and the children and their father entered the cold, swift-flowing water. Pestana, 34 laborer, who was deaf and couldn’t speak, and the children’s uncle, were on the river’s bank, downstream. They gestured to one another, and the uncle entered the water followed closely by Pestana. The uncle and Pestana swam into the river on a course to intercept the children, but the current carried the children downriver past them. The uncle, tiring, ultimately abandoned his efforts and exited the river. Pestana, who remained in the water, was seen in a circular current near the bank. Shortly, Pestana submerged and disappeared from view. Meanwhile, the current pushed the children and their father into a calm eddy about a half-mile downriver, where they were able to safely exit to the riverbank. They were not harmed. Pestana’s body was found a month later in a harbor of a town about 15 miles downstream. He had drowned.
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Carnegie Hero Fund Articles
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