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Soldier jumps into action to save boy who nearly drowned at Polynesian Cultural Center

Army Sgt. Anthony Tunstall saved a boy who drowned in a lagoon at the Polynesian Cultural Center.
Army Sgt. Anthony Tunstall saved a boy who drowned in a lagoon at the Polynesian Cultural Center.(US Army)
Published: Aug. 24, 2021 at 12:09 PM EDT
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - While visiting the Polynesian Cultural Center, a soldier quickly stepped into action when a boy nearly drowned in a lagoon.

Army Sgt. Anthony Tunstall and a group of other soldiers had been visiting the center for cultural enrichment training on August 11 when their escort responded to a medical emergency.

Tunstall, who is a trained Emergency Medical Technician, immediately began performing first-aid and CPR to save the child whose “seemingly lifeless body” was pulled out of the water by the group’s escort.

While the other soldiers called 911, Tunstall was able to revive and stabilize the child until paramedics arrived.

The boy was taken to Queens Medical Center and later transferred to Moanalua Medical Center for further treatment.

“My son, Vini, is doing well. He’s awake and fighting off the wires. He got up and just went to his mommy to hold him,” said the child’s father, Ulise Funaki.

The boy’s family has immense gratitude for Tunstall, saying “Please let Sgt. Tunstall know of our love for him.”

Vini has since been released from the hospital.

“I’m just thankful that I was in the right place at the right time so that I could provide medical assistance,” said Tunstall.

“I’m grateful for all of the medical training that the Army has put into me. That training means that a young child can continue to experience life.”

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