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The addition of a floating dock at Kewalo Harbor will help save lives

Dec 13, 2015

The Dock Of Life

In an effort to save lives and strengthen our community, the Howard Hughes Corporation has teamed up with the city, state, and Hawaii Community Development Association (HCDA) to help create a new lifeguard station at Kewalo Harbor.

Every day, Honolulu's dedicated team of lifeguards respond to an array of emergencies and life-threatening situations. They are regarded as some of the best in the world at what they do. With the creation of the new station at Kewalo Harbor, they'll be able to do their job even better.

The facility will not only serve as another outpost for the city's lifesavers to conduct their vitally important work, but also includes a floating dock, which allows Jet Skis—and eventually boats—to be launched immediately. In the past, lifeguards would have to load their Jet Ski onto a trailer, drive it to the dock, and unload their personnel and equipment into the ocean—a process that could take up to 20 minutes. Thanks to the floating dock, that time has been shortened significantly, which translates directly into more lives being saved.




"Typically in the past, we would jump in the truck, have to get the ski on trailer, and then drive to the harbor, all of which can take us 15 to 20 minutes," said Ocean Safety Captain Kevin Allen. "By us having the dock on the water, we can be on these things within 60 seconds."

In addition to the floating dock, the station also boasts an indoor response station, allowing lifeguards to monitor swells, distress calls, and other emergencies along the South Shore. The station will also play an integral role in training the lifeguards of tomorrow. It's also the first emergency response station in Hawai'i to be located directly on the water.


We're really excited about the new station at Kewalo Harbor. With the floating dock, we're now able to respond to emergencies quicker and get our lifeguards to the scene much faster. Additionally, this new station allows us to bring victims back to the station where they can be met by other emergency responders and given immediate medical care.


Shayne Enright, Emergency Services Spokesperson for the City of Honolulu

As Enright alluded, the facility will not only allow lifeguards to launch their Jet Skis into the water faster, but they'll be able to unload a patient directly from the ski onto a waiting gurney and emergency responders back at the station. Beginning in 2016, the station will have the ability to launch a rescue boat as well.




For the Howard Hughes Corporation, which is helping to develop a new community at Ward, the opportunity to work with the HCDA, city, and state to create this project was met with welcome arms.

"For the lifeguard station and floating dock, we were able to focus on ocean safety that would have an impact on all of O'ahu's south shore. And as the city and county expressed, this project will literally help them save lives," said Todd Apo, VP of Community Development for the Howard Hughes Corporation. "The fact that this project included the state, through HCDA, and the city make this an even greater example of how public/private partnerships can benefit the broader community."

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