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Rescue tubes installed at West Side beaches

By Staff | Mar 21, 2019

Members of the three West Side Rotary Clubs recently installed 21 rescue tubes at West Side county beach parks.

WEST MAUI – Three Rotary Clubs on the West Side – the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunrise, Rotary Club of Lahaina and the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset – recently installed 21 rescue tubes at the county beach parks on the West Side of Maui.

The yellow flotation devices are mounted on poles along the beach and can be grabbed by potential rescuers or tossed out to swimmers in distress, helping them stay afloat long enough for first responders to arrive.

It will also prevent double drowning of distressed swimmers and attempted rescuers.

How to use the rescue tubes is clearly marked on the devices.

There are now ten rescue tubes at Papalaua Beach Park, three at Ukumehame Beach Park, five at Launiupoko Beach Park and three at Puamana Beach Park.

Priority at this phase was given to the southernmost beaches farthest away from emergency responders.

The Kaanapali Operators Association (KOA) has already put in more than 27 tubes along the Kaanapali Beach area.

“The rescue tube project started by the Rotary Clubs in Kauai more than ten years ago has spread to other islands in Hawaii. On Maui, the Kihei-Wailea Rotary Club installed 40 tubes along South Maui beaches in 2017. It will contribute to the ocean safety for the visitors and local people,” said Heidi Dollinger, president of the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset.

“We will need more rescue tubes to cover the rest of county beach parks on the West Side. We welcome any donations and volunteers to help monitor and maintain them,” said Mariko Higashi, rescue tube project leader at the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset.

For questions, contact Higashi at (808) 866-8116.