LiHU‘E n County officials announced that registration for the Kaua‘i Junior Lifeguard Program begins Monday coinciding with Beach Safety Week.
To sign up for the program, stop by the Kaua‘i Fire Department headquarters located on the second floor of the Lihu‘e Civic Center or any the county lifeguard towers.
The program is free and is designed to teach young people, ages 13 to 17, ocean safety and lifesaving skills. Additionally, it covers physical conditioning and competition skills.
According to Kalani Vierra, a junior lifeguard instructor and Ocean Safety Bureau supervisor, the week-long sessions have become very popular.
“We started with about a dozen kids in 1997,” said Vierra. “It kept growing, and last year, over 240 signed up for the program.”
He attributes the strong interest in the ocean safety program to Kaua‘i’s youngsters spending a lot time at the beach from an early age and also to the fact that the Kaua‘i Junior Lifeguard team captured the state championships for the past three years.
“We’re very proud of the participants,” Vierra said. “They represented Kaua‘i well.”
There are five sites scheduled for this year’s Junior Lifeguard program n Salt Pond, June 18 to 22, Lydgate, June 18 to 22, Hanalei, July 9 to 13, Po’ipu, July 9 to 13, and Kalapaki, July 16 to 20. The week-long sessions run Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
To be eligible for the program, youngsters must be committed to the challenges it offers and be able to swim and run 100 yards non-stop without assistance.
Program sponsors include the County of Kaua‘i, Hawaiian Lifeguard Association, Kaua‘i Lifeguard Association, and many businesses and individuals.
For more information, call the Ocean Safety Bureau at 241-6500 or 241-6506.