Surfer Icon Rescues Stranded People in Hawaii

Category: Human Interest


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. famed / feɪmd / (adj) – famous

    The famed surfer is known for his unique surfing techniques.

  2. come to (one’s) rescue / kʌm tu ˈrɛs kyu / (idiom) – to save someone

    The girl was thankful that the lifeguard came to her rescue when she was drowning.

  3. credit / ˈkrɛd ɪt / (n) – public acknowledgement

    He received a lot of credit for saving his neighbor.

  4. ravage / ˈræv ɪdʒ / (v) – to destroy

    The storm ravaged many homes.

  5. back on (one’s) feet / bæk ɒn fit / (idiom) – in a state of recovery

    With the help of people, the victims of the calamity got back on their feet again.


Read the text below.

A famed surfer rescued a family stranded on a Hawaiian island because of a heavy rainfall.

Laird Hamilton, a professional surfer known as one of the best in the sport, lives near where the family was vacationing in Kauai / ˌkɑ uˈɑ i /, Hawaii. The family was about to fly back home to San Diego, California, when the rainfall struck the island, causing major floods and mudslides. Using his boat, Hamilton came to the family’s rescue and escorted the members to safety.

Aside from the family, Hamilton spent his days rescuing other stranded people and animals on the island. In fact, he was involved in over 75 rescue operations. However, he believed that credit is unnecessary. He felt that helping is something that everyone should do when others are in need.

The rainfall was one of the most devastating disasters to hit the island. It brought about two feet of flood on a 24-hour period, ravaging homes and buildings. Because of this, Hamilton’s wife created an online campaign that gathered donations for the flood victims.

Like Hamilton, famous Hollywood actor Sean Penn also played a key role in a previous rescue effort. In 2010, Penn flew to Haiti /ˈheɪ ti / three days after a major earthquake hit the country, and stayed there for months.

Penn built a relief organization called J/P HRO to help Haitians / ˈheɪ ʃəns / get back on their feet. He and the members of the organization fixed drainages and provided food and water. To this day, his organization is still reaching out to victims of calamities in Haiti.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Would you also be willing to take part in a rescue effort that is considered risky? Explain.
• How do you think celebrities can become instruments in encouraging others to participate in rescue efforts?

Discussion B

• How can people prepare for calamities?
• How would you help victims of calamities?