Junior Lifeguards looking for young rescuers

POIPU — No shortage of skill here.

“We’ve got some heavy hitters in this class,” said Eugene Ancheta, one of the Kauai Junior Lifeguard instructors Wednesday. “This is the biggest class we’ve had this year.”

Ancheta said the Kauai Junior Lifeguard Program has two more weeks where youth between 13 and 17 years old can register for the free program which teaches ocean safety and lifesaving skills in a sporting atmosphere.

Registration is being accepted at the Kauai Fire Deptartment office in the Piikoi Building in Lihue, and registration forms can be downloaded from the County of Kauai website at www.kauai.gov. A copy of the student’s birth certificate is required for registration.

During the weeklong program, students get hands-on learning in the areas of drug awareness, rescue skills, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, first aid, teamwork, problem solving, beach and ocean awareness and beach hazards.

Ancheta said the County of Kauai initiated a keiki program, but it has been sold out.

“We’re the 10-time reigning state champions,” Ancheta said. “This year, we’re hosting the state championships at Kalapaki Beach. We’ll be trying for our 11th consecutive state title.”

Candidates to the Kauai Junior Lifeguard program must be able to swim and run 100 yards non-stop without assistance.

Candidates also bring their own lunch, drinks, towels, and sun screen for each day, which runs from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

The program moves to Hanalei July 7-11, and to Kalapaki Beach July 14-18. The five-week program culminates with the island finals which will be held in Hanalei, July 19 where candidates for the all-Kauai team will be selected to participate in the state meet Aug. 2 at Kalapaki Beach.

The Kauai Junior Lifeguard Program is sponsored in part by the County of Kauai, the Kauai Lifeguard Association, the Hawaiian Lifeguard Association, and a number of generous sponsors who care about Kauai’s youth.

Call the Kauai Ocean Safety Bureau at 241-4984, or 241-4168 for more information.

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