Surfer earns letter of appreciation for rescue of tourist
Itoman Police gave a letter of appreciation to 37-year-old Shota Tamaki, a surfing instructor, for rescuing a tourist who had been caught in a rip current and drifted off shore.
Tamaki rescued the male tourists about noon on Sep. 12th. The man who is in his 30’s was caught in a rip current while he was snorkeling that drew him away from the shore. Tamaki caught the man and secured him until the rescue team arrived.
Tamaki has surfed 20 years. He had been surfing off a different part of Odo beach, and noticing a helicopter hovering above, moved along to the beach to the part where the helicopter was flying.
The waves were high in the aftermath of a passing typhoon, Tamaki decided to go ahead for the rescue, as the rescue team was still preparing its water craft.
He borrowed a large surfboard on the beach, and paddled offshore to the man. The two men balanced each other on the board until the rescue team arrived.