Junior Lifeguards go despite COVID-19

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    At least 50 — 25 each in the Keiki and Juniors division — youth and their Kaua‘i Ocean Safety Bureau lifeguard instructors and supporters from the Kaua‘i Lifeguard Association took to the beach at the Salt Pond Park for the Junior Lifeguard program.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Participants in the Junior Division practice rescue techniques using a body board, Wednesday during the Kaua‘i Junior Lifeguard program at the Salt Pond Beach Park.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Participants in the Junior Division practice rescue techniques using a Rescue Tube, Wednesday during the Kaua‘i Junior Lifeguard program at the Salt Pond Beach Park.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Kaua‘i Ocean Safety Bureau Chief Kalani Vierra explains the use of body boards in rescues while Laola Lake, president of the Kaua‘i Lifeguard Association prepares Rescue Tubes for use, Wednesday during the Kaua‘i Junior Lifeguard program at the Salt Pond Beach Park.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    A Kaua‘i Junior Lifeguard responds to swimmers in distress with a Rescue Tube in tow, Wednesday during the Kaua‘i Junior Lifeguard program at the Salt Pond Beach Park.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Keiki Junior Lifeguards get acquainted with the paddleboards, Wednesday during the Kaua‘i Junior Lifeuard program at the Salt Pond Beach Park.

HANAPEPE — “Kleve Zarbaugh is getting hungry,” said Jaime Arreola, the vice president of the Kaua‘i Lifeguard Association Wednesday during the Kaua‘i Junior Lifeguard program being held at the Salt Pond Beach Park. “This means lunchtime is getting close. We’re only here to support the lifeguards.”

The Kaua‘i Junior Lifeguard program, including its Keiki, young people ages 8 through 11 years old, and the Juniors, youth ages 12 through 17 years old, launched its 2021 schedule this week at the Salt Pond Beach Park.

The popular youth summer program went to a wait list early following the May 3 registration because the program limited enrollment to just 25 youth in each division due to COVID-19 health and safety guidelines that included participating students needing a face mask to attend, social distancing strategies being utilized, and frequent sanitizing of equipment being used.

“We’re the only island in the state that’s offering the program this year,” said Kaua‘i Ocean Safety Bureau Chief Kalani Vierra. “That means there will be no state competition, this year.”

The Ocean Safety Bureau remains focused on protecting the health and safety of the island’s keiki and community, and will be following Centers for Disease Control recommended guidelines and state and county rules and mandates for COVID-19.

Prior to the pandemic, Kaua‘i Junior Lifeguards held a string of a dozen consecutive state titles ending in 2016. The Kaua‘i all-island team hiccupped in 2017, and recaptured the title during the 2018 games.

During the Kaua‘i Junior Lifeguard program, participants need to bring their own lunch, sunscreen, and a towel to each day’s events

The free program brings awareness to ocean safety and demonstrates valuable lifesaving skills as well as other areas including first aid, ocean conditions, and more that can be squeezed into this year’s program that shrank to just three days a week. Classes and demonstrations are led by some of the island’s best Ocean Safety instructors and a strong support from KLA and other community groups.

Three more programs are on the calendar for this year with the next session starting July 13 through 15 at the Hanalei Pavilion. The program moves to Wanini Beach during the week starting July 20 through 22, and the final program comes to Kalapaki Beach on July 27 through 29.

2 Comments
  1. I saw a Vampire once June 24, 2021 12:38 pm Reply

    I’m sure they are not caring about getting the coronavirus.

    I quite sure also that they don’t know what is the coronavirus.

    All in a days fun.


  2. I saw a Vampire once June 24, 2021 4:10 pm Reply

    i’ve got nothing against Hawaiians and surfing. They can go over their culture many times and surfing will always be one of them. It has been around for 100s of years. Surfing has their own language. Some people just know about surfing because they surf.

    I’ve always admired surfers nature of love. They just love what they do. Everything. They put 100% into what they are doing. And it shows. I don’t need a gym. I don’t need one to tell me what to do. I already know what to do. That is surfers. If you like them, well this is the place to start. Surfing for life.

    I am just a spectator remember what I can learn from the Hawaiians and their sport of surfing. It’s like nature. It comes natural.


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