The Hawaiʻi State Senate recognized Hawaiʻi’s ocean safety officers statewide for their hard work and dedication in keeping the people of Hawaiʻi and our visitors safe every day. These outstanding ocean men and women perform 4,500 rescues each year, with over 1.5 million preventive actions, across hundreds of miles of coastline. Known as the best lifeguards in the world, and often going above the call of duty, these men and women make an important impact in the health and well-being for both our residents and visitors.

The ocean safety officers recognized on the floor included Hawai’i County Battalion Chief, Gerald Kosaki; Kauai Ocean Safety Bureau Director, Kalani Vierra; Maui Battalion Chief of Ocean Safety, Colin Yamamoto; City and County of Honolulu Ocean Safety Operations Chief, Kevin Allen; as well as Director Jim Howe, Deputy Director Ian Santee, and Maui Fire Chief Jeff Murray.

The history of ocean safety services dates back to the first Government-run lifeguard services at Waikiki beach in 1912 with two lifeguards operating under the Territorial Board of Harbors and Commissioners. Today, the water safety departments on every island are staffed full-time with highly trained men and women who are responsible for keeping our residents and visitors safe.

“The Ocean Safety Officers of Hawai'i County, Kaua'i County, Maui County, and the City and County of Honolulu continue to be challenged with maintaining service levels as both resident and visitor population increases with a contingent increase in ocean activity,” said Senator Laura Thielen (Dist. 25 - Kailua, Lanikai, Enchanted Lake, Keolu Hills, Maunawili, Waimanalo, Hawai‘i Kai, Portlock), co-convener for the Outdoor Heritage Caucus. “We applaud their hard work and dedication and are privileged to honor them today.”

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