HONOLULU — A man was honored for his bravery after he helped a family involved in a helicopter crash at Pearl Harbor.

U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke presented Bryan Eisenberg with the Medal of Valor on Tuesday for his role in saving a pilot and a family of four Feb. 18, 2016, after their tour helicopter plunged into the water.

The Medal of Valor is awarded annually to public safety officers who have exhibited exceptional courage, regardless of personal safety, in the attempt to save or protect human life.

In addition to Eisenberg, 28 others also received Medals of Valor for their heroic acts.

Eisenberg, who was working as a federal officer for the National Park Service at the time of the crash, was one of the bystanders who jumped in and pulled the four survivors out of the harbor. But a teenage boy remained trapped in the helicopter, KHON-TV reported (http://bit.ly/2uIOqgz).

“I took off my gear, my boots, my duty belt, and I jumped into the water,” Eisenberg said. “Myself and a Navy mud suit diver were able to take turns diving down to the helicopter. I was cutting as fast as I could. He was pretty tangled up in his life jacket and the harness from the helicopter, so I was just being as careful as I could with a knife underwater and cutting him out as quickly as I could.”

Riley Dobson, 16, later died from his injuries.

“It was very emotional, very gut-wrenching, very bittersweet that they got most of the survivors to shore, but (Bryan) was very worried about this one youngster,” said Jeffrey Eisenberg, Bryan Eisenberg’s father.


Information from: KHON-TV, http://khon.com