Junior Lifeguard program canceled, safety tips are online

  • photo by Chantal Zarbaugh

    Members of the 2019 Jr. Lifeguard Program gather for a photo.

  • photo by Chantal Zarbaugh

    Members of the 2019 Jr. Lifeguard Program gather for a photo.

LIHU‘E — The Kaua‘i Fire Department’s Ocean Safety Bureau would normally be hosting up to 600 keiki and junior lifeguard participants over the next few months. 

However, due to the COVID-19 restrictions the state has cancelled the program for 2020. Instead, beginning Monday, June 1, OSB will kick off Kaua‘i Ocean Safety Week, OSB will be posting videoes on Facebook and Instagram providing ocean-safety tips that anyone can apply while enjoying the beach and abiding by social-distancing and other rules set forth by Mayor Derek Kawakami and Gov. David Ige.

Kalani Vierra, OSB chief, devised this program with assistance from Bonnie Hailer and Chantal Zarbaugh.

“It’s important to maintain ocean-safety awareness when at our Kaua‘i beaches. Conditions can change quickly from one of fun in the sun to a life-threatening situation if you are not prepared,” said Vierra.

He reminds everyone to swim with a buddy, observe all warnings, swim near a lifeguard tower, remember to practice social distancing, and refrain from beach gatherings that can potentially threaten the well-being of everyone on the island.

“If we abuse it, we will loose it,” Vierra said. “We are all in this canoe of life together, and our lifeguards go to work for your safety. Risking their lives for others is part of the job. Remember to be safe, use your best judgment, and when in doubt, don’t go out.”

For more information call the OSB at 241-4984 or follow on Facebook @kauailifeguards or Instagram @kauailifeguardsassociation.

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