In early January on the island of Hawai’i, a tourist decided that the view of Akaka falls wasn’t good enough from behind the protective fence. He climbed over, slipped, and found himself dangling near the edge of a 400-foot drop before a local man risked his own life to pull the fence jumper back to safety — and the life saving move was all caught on video.
Scenes from rescue were subsequently posted on TikTok. Commenters noted how the fence is there for a reason and were quick to point out the tourist’s blatant disregard for the consequences and whoever else might be injured. In the video, you can hear him bark orders at the people saving him, yelling “pull on somebody, please.”
In an interview with Dillon Ancheta from Hawaii News Now, the rescuer, Aldwin Francis, noted the man didn’t even say thank you after he pulled him back to solid ground. Though Francis gracefully added that, “for me, it’s good for him to be alive. That’s all that matters to me.”
@ellai This dude jumped over the fence to take a whole picture of Akaka falls 🤦♀️ ps. no one got hurt in this video #fyp #hawaiitiktok ♬ original sound – mela
There wasn’t much sympathy online when the video started making the rounds. Commenters in the r/Hawaii subreddit reacted with opinions ranging from “this is why we can’t have nice things,” to noting how “the entitlement even when being saved” was mind blowing, to stating that “as soon as he gave me that condescending tone, I would be back up over the fence.” Another person put some extra perspective with the comment “this stranger is putting himself in danger because Chad needed to go and flex on nature.”
Hawai’i has long had a problem with tourists who think they know better than the safety warnings. From 2012 to 2016, 147 tourists (about one a week on average) died from swimming, snorkeling, hiking, and scenic driving injuries, Civil Beat writes. In November of 2021, local Hawai’ian Camille Leihulu called out tourists on TikTok who hiked the Haiku Stairs in Oahu, which have been closed since 1987.
On the video, Leihulu wrote: “Why do outsiders get to blatantly ignore laws and rules and do as they please without facing any repercussions or acknowledging the consequences that Hawaiians have to deal with as a result of their actions?”
There are plenty of great outdoor experiences to have on all of Hawai’i’s islands, so long as you realize guidelines are guidelines.
Perhaps Francis said it best in his Hawaii News Now interview: “Abide with the rules. There’s a fence for a reason.”