Big Isle officer honored


POSTED: Monday, February 02, 2009

A Big Island police officer and a civilian were honored Friday for saving the life of an off-duty police officer in 1999.

Officer Jeffrey Natividad experienced a shallow-water blackout while free-diving off the coast of Manuka in the Kau district in August 1999.

Officer Christopher Ragasa, who was diving with him, retrieved Natividad from 30 feet below the water's surface and then performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation while Hilo resident Leonard Ramboyon steadied Natividad in the water on his back.

Ramboyon took over resuscitation efforts when Ragasa became tired and Natividad regained consciousness.

Ragasa, now a training officer for recruits, received a Certificate of Valor and a Silver Medal of Honor. Ramboyon received a Certificate of Merit plaque.

Police said the delay in presenting the awards was because of miscommunication in the department, and steps have been taken to improve the situation.