Apr 13, 2016
Kewalo Harbor's New Life-Saving Vessel
The city recently unveiled a new addition to its fleet of lifesaving watercraft in the form of a 21-foot Boston Whaler.
Docked at Kewalo Harbor's recently refurbished Ocean Safety Headquarters, the 21-foot vessel will become an instrumental tool in the hands of lifeguards and first responders. Capable of carrying out large-scale rescue operations, the boat can host up to nine patients at a time, all the while allowing lifeguards enough room to treat victims onboard and drastically cutting down on response times.
According to Mark Rigg, the directory of Honolulu's Emergency Service Department, this vessel will literally save lives. "Lifeguards will respond to ocean-related emergencies on the South Shore utilizing this rescue boat. Emergencies that occur in the ocean are time sensitive due to the high risk of drowning. This boat has the ability to transport several injured or sick patients rapidly to the shore, ultimately reducing the time for patients to receive appropriate medical care."
The city was able to purchase this new life-saving vessel through a partnership with the Hawaii Community Development Authority (HCDA) who helps to manage the harbor and the surrounding community. Earlier this year, it was announced that Ward Village would work with the HCDA to improve the infrastructure of the harbor and further strengthen the harbor's role as a gathering place for the community. As part of the plan to upgrade the harbor, Ward Village helped to create a new lifeguard station, which will moor this new vessel. The new dock also allows lifeguards stationed at the outpost an opportunity to respond to emergencies at a much faster rate than before.
"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."
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell echoed these sentiments and praised the important, and often times heroic, efforts of the city's lifeguards and first responders. "Our Ocean Safety personnel provide a critical link between ocean emergencies and appropriate emergency care," said Mayor Caldwell. "This new boat recognizes the important work that our lifeguards and other first responders do every day to keep the public safe."
Working with the city and HCDA to better the harbor and support a safer community falled in line with the company's master plan for the surrounding area. "Ward Village is actively working to make Kewalo Harbor an even better community amenity," said Ward Village's Todd Apo "We will continue to play an active role in making this deeply valued part of O'ahu's waterfront a more vibrant, dynamic and safer place for visitors and local families to enjoy."
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