HONOLULU — City & County lifeguards’ newest tool for saving lives is now stationed at Kewalo Basin Harbor. The 21-foot Guardian Boston Whaler rescue boat can carry up to nine people at a time, including five patients lying flat on backboards. The boat is capable of carrying out large scale rescues and towing other vessels, and also allows lifeguards to treat patients while in transit to shore.
“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 shore, ultimately reducing the time for patients to receive appropriate medical care,” said Mark Rigg, Director of the Honolulu Emergency Services Department.
The new rescue boat is the product of a partnership between the Hawaii Community Development Authority and the City & County Emergency Services Department. The HCDA purchased the boat for $118,000 in order to enhance public safety both at Kewalo Basin Harbor and beyond. It is the first of its kind on Oahu and will support countless water rescues in Kakaako and along the entire South Shore.
“The HCDA doesn’t just build housing, we invest in communities. We want to do what we can to improve water safety for residents and visitors, especially because so many people love surfing, fishing, and boating here in Kewalo and along the Kakaako shoreline,” said Aedward Los Banos, HCDA’s Interim Executive Director.
“Our Ocean Safety personnel provide a critical link between ocean emergencies and appropriate emergency care,” said Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “This new boat recognizes the important work that our lifeguards and other first responders do every day to keep the public safe, and I thank the HCDA for its generous commitment to the City and County of Honolulu.”
The Emergency Services Department opened its emergency response station based at Kewalo Basin Harbor late last year. It is situated directly on the water, allowing safe and easy access to Oahu’s entire south shore. The HCDA leased the office space to the city for a dollar a year, and Ward Village donated $18,500 to fund the construction of a floating dock to moor emergency watercraft.
About the Hawaii Community Development Authority (HCDA)
The HCDA is a state agency created by the Hawaii State Legislature in 1976 to redevelop historically underutilized areas across the state. The HCDA’s mission is to build communities in the designated Community Development Districts of Kakaako, Kalaeloa and Heeia, to provide more opportunities for residents to grow in a vibrant environment. In Kakaako, the HCDA is committed to revitalizing the urban core and providing housing opportunities to residents of all income levels. To date, the HCDA has overseen the development of over 6,000 new housing units in Kakaako, with another 4,200 units in various stages of construction. By creating a community where one can live, work, and play, we give the youth of Hawaii a reason to stay here in the islands and raise future generations.
Hawaii Community Development Authority
547 Queen Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
Direct: (808) 594-0328