If you ever wondered just how good Kauai’s lifeguards are, wonder no more.
Simply put, they are among the very best.
How do we know this?
Well, besides all the things they do to protect people and save lives that we don’t know about and never heard about, there are times we learn about their heroics. Yep, heroics. Sure, they’re paid. But it’s small change compared to the big impact they have.
Such as May 9, when three swimmers were rescued from waters off Waiohai Beach in Poipu in separate incidents, according to a county press release.
According to witness reports, a 60-year-old New Mexico man went snorkeling near the west end of Waiohai bay at 12:30 p.m. A swimmer in the water saw the man, unresponsive, and pulled him to shore where another bystander began administering CPR.
Lifeguards, then firefighters and medics arrived on scene and continued CPR as they transported the patient to Wilcox Hospital. The man, who was in critical condition at the time, was later at the hospital in satisfactory condition.
While responding to the man on shore, lifeguards heard another cry for help in the water. One of the lifeguards left the scene to respond, and rescued a 27-year-old female from San Jose, California.
Additionally, around the same time, another lifeguard from the Poipu Beach tower noticed a second female in distress near the Nukumoi point. The lifeguard responded, and assisted the female to shore.
Both women were treated at the scene by medics.
“With our South Shore beaches becoming more populated lately, we are especially grateful for the recent addition of our Nukumoi lifeguard tower. We thank the quick and selfless responses of our Ocean Safety officials and Good Samaritans for saving the lives of these three individuals,” said Ocean Safety Bureau Chief Kalani Vierra. “We continue to remind all beachgoers to know the conditions, know your limits, and when in doubt, don’t go out.”
Not everyone, of course, heeds those wise words. Some will still swim beyond their abilities and find themselves in trouble. Some will just fall victim to the changing and challenging conditions of the ocean. And some will do the worse thing they can do, and panic in the water.
It’s then the lifeguards are asked to come to the rescue. And they do. Without hesitation, without fear and without much of a reward other than knowing they do their best to save lives.
So, the next time you see a lifeguard, tell them, thanks. You never know when you’ll need them.
No one does. But we do know, they’re ready to respond.