Eddie Aikau Essay

He seemed to have a special understanding of the ocean, as if it were a living thing and he was its favored child."He was a renaissance man, and once he got interested in the Hokule'a and the whole voyaging thing, he was driven. He had so much dedication to that, and ultimately, that may have ended up hurting him," Bettencourt said.

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The flight left Kona slightly late, and the pilot altered the flight path to compensate, Hugho said.

It was a decision that took the aircraft within sight of Hokule'a's flare, and resulted in the rescue of everyone who was still with the canoe.

In the morning, crewman Eddie Aikau, famous as an ocean rescue specialist, asked permission to paddle for help. He stopped a short distance away to wave and to throw off his life preserver, which appeared to interfere with his paddling.

In the afternoon, several aircraft passed within sight of the stricken crew, but none saw it.

Initially, the response was negative, but eventually, the leadership of the canoe allowed him to go.

"My place was Makaha, and Eddie Aikau owned Waimea Bay. Take off deeper, take off in the pit, deep in the lineup.In recent years, the Aikau family established the Eddie Aikau Foundation ( foundation.org), "to share Eddie Aikau's life, contributions and accomplishments while promoting education and the advancement of Hawaiian culture." Hugho, who is preparing a film version of the events, called "Eddie's Final Story," said he knew their last hope was to be seen by the final Hawaiian Airlines flight from Kona to O'ahu on the night of March 17.He said he urged fellow crewman David Lyman to save some flares for when the plane passed.On March 18, 1978, a multi-day search for Aikau was launched, but he was never found.Aikau and the crew of the voyaging canoe Hokule'a had left O'ahu in heavy winds the night of March 16, 1978.Nainoa Thompson, a famed Hawaiian traditional navigator and now president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, was a crew member on the 1978 voyage, but he remembers Aikau's deep commitment to the project."Eddie said, 'I feel so privileged to sail on Hokule'a because I want to go down and pull Tahiti out of the sea."Eddie Aikau's actions on that fateful night had the impact of helping Native Hawaiians today who care about the legacy of our culture to get over our fear and take responsibility to malama each other, even if that means paying the ultimate price.His example is legendary," said Hawaiian activist Halealoha Ayau.You've gotta be really talented, and he had a special gift.As a lifeguard at Waimea, Aikau's hundreds of rescues are another piece of the legend.


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