THE CARROLL COX SHOW
NEWS AND COMMENTARY
A DROWNING AT HILTON HAWAIIAN VILLAGE LAGOON
This is the site in the Hilton lagoon where Mr. William Stock was stuck in a drain and drowned. The buoy says "Rocks". The bucket is swirling around in a whirlpool (notice slight indentation in water). Watch the video to see the bucket in action, and a child swirling in whirlpool!
No Signs of Danger
Ten days ago, on July 30, 2009, Mr. William Randall Stock, a Honolulu resident, met with his untimely death. Like many other unsuspecting individuals who frequent the Duke Kahanamoku lagoon, under the ownership and management of the Hilton Hotels Corporations and the State of Hawaii, a routine swim near an innocent looking pile of rocks with a buoy labeled “rocks” proved to be extremely dangerous and contributed to his death. A drain with a small whirlpool is next to the sign. Mr. Stock was sucked into the drain, the whirlpool apparently pinning him to it and causing his legs to become stuck, according to Mr. Scott King of Dallas, Texas, one of a few people who tried to recue Mr. Stock. Mr. King freed him from the drain, brought him to shore, and performed CPR. He received a gift basket from Hilton Hawaiian Village for his actions.
According to the Honolulu Medical Examiner’soffice, Mr. Stock was pronounced dead on July 31 2009, the cause of death “Near Drowning”. The full autopsy report will not be available for six to eight weeks.
A number of questions have been asked and a number of them have not been answered. We have and will ask more questions of the State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources and the Hilton Hotels Corporations:
Why wasn’t the immediate area around the drain roped or fenced off to prevent any additional drownings or injury to children or other people?
Why are children still allowed to play in the drain area, as we witnessed over the past 2 days?
Why weren’t there lifeguards posted before or after the drowning?
Did the Design Modification for the Conservation District Use Permit OA-3297 for the Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon Restoration, that intended ” to improve the circulation within the lagoon and enhance the health, safety and maintenance aspects of the project”, and required modifications to the outflow and intake pipes in the Special Management Area Permit (SMP) obtained in 2007, cause the conditions that allegedly contributed to the demise of Mr. Stock?
Were the design modifications cheaper than the original requirements?
When we spoke with the DLNR we were told that, because of the drowning of Mr. Stock, experts will be visiting the lagoon to inspect the lagoon and its drainage systems.
We were also told that the DLNR has not initiated an investigation but was deferring to The Hilton Hotels Corporations. We asked why. And we also ask why not have an independent party investigate this matter.
Why was Mr. Stock's death classified as a “Near Drowning”? What is a “Near Drowning”? We were informed that the paramedics attempted to resuscitate Mr. Stock for approximately twenty minutes but were unsuccessful. Is the “Near Drowning” part of a bigger cover up to protect the State Of Hawaii and the Hilton Hotels Corporations?
We understand that the City and County of Honolulu’s Department of Planning and Permitting granted permits and evaluated the lagoon project. The State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands also granted approval of the work and the modifications to the lagoon. Delta Construction of Kapolei, Hawaii, Oahu performed some of the work on the Lagoon and met with Hilton Hawaiian Village and the DLNR to discuss their proposed design changes for the Lagoon restoration project.
We will be bringing you more on this story later. The photographs and video included with this story show how children are still being allowed to play in the same area where Mr. Stock drowned. One of the photos shows a bucket that is turning around and around in the whirlpool created by the drain. The video shows the swirling bucket, a child spinning in an intertube, and children playing over the drain.
Is the business of tourism more important than the life of human beings? We hope that that is not the case. An independent investigation is in order.
And this is the parting shot from the Hilton to the King Family!