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Kahe Point Tower Saves Lives In First Month Of Service

September 2, 2023

HONOLULU, Hawai‘i Sunday, marks one month since Honolulu Ocean Safety opened its newest official lifeguard tower at Kahe Point Beach Park. Ocean Safety installed the Kahe Point tower August 3rd, since then, lifeguards performed seven rescues and averaged more than 160 preventative actions a day. A preventative action is a lifeguard’s effort to prevent injury or rescue by educating beach goers or intervening before beach goers do something that may cause injury or death. 

Lifeguards at Kahe Point interact with large groups of divers and snorkelers daily. Ocean Safety was recently contacted by one of those snorkelers who says he was at Kahe Point and was pulled out by the strong current. He panicked and starting struggling to return to shore. The snorkeler says he was especially grateful to the Ocean Safety lifeguard who saved him.

“One more tower may not seem like a big deal, just like an extra couple of hours on the beach may not seem like a big deal,” said acting Lieutenant Pono Akiona-Ferriman, a second generation city lifeguard and lifelong Leeward Coast resident. “But the new tower at Kahe Point, and the longer hours, have already saved lives. The biggest shift we’ve seen, is that people have more awareness of the hazards and risks at spots like Kahe Point. We’ve noticed more and more people approaching us and asking how to keep themselves safe in the water.”

Since opening, Kahe Point lifeguards have called for the Honolulu Police Department for car break-ins, fights, and other disturbances, and twice called for the Honolulu Emergency Medical Services to co-respond to a patient, one of those was for a child having a seizure.

On Monday, the Labor Day holiday, Kahe Point is expected to be busier than normal, along with other parts of the island – especially with events including the Waikīkī Roughwater Swim. Ocean Safety reminds beach goers that alcohol and the ocean do not mix well, particularly with surf, high tides and strong currents. 

About Ocean Safety
Ocean Safety’s team is comprised of 287 personnel who make nearly 3,000 rescues a year, and staff 42 towers and 16 mobile units daily, 365 days a year.  Most towers are now open from 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., as Ocean Safety continues to improve coverage in support of an extended hours law passed in 2019. Seven towers on the North Shore are expected to switch to the longer hours schedule on Sunday, September 10th, then all of Ocean Safety’s units will work the same extended schedule.