homepage logo

Rescue tubes installed at West Side county beach parks

By Staff | May 9, 2019

From left, Liz May, Uli Kirkegaard, Jim Fahnestock, Jennifer Heagney, Bert Kasai and Tori Taylor install a rescue tube at D.T. Fleming Beach Park.

WEST MAUI – The three Rotary Clubs of Lahaina recently installed 33 yellow rescue tubes at nine West Maui county beach parks.

The tubes are intended to assist swimmers who are in distress. A person can take the rescue tube to the swimmer in trouble and help him/her back to the beach, or stay with that person until a watercraft comes to transport the person to shore.

The tubes also prevent double drowning of the swimmer and rescuer.

In the past year, the Rotary Club of Kihei-Wailea installed 40 rescue tubes on South Maui beaches, and to date, ten people were saved by using the tubes.

Rescue tubes were first introduced in Kauai by the Kauai Rotary Clubs and have been in place for ten years on that island.

Darryl Ng, president of the Rotary Club of Lahaina, said, “We are very grateful to the strong encouragement and support from the retired battalion chief, Colin Yamamoto, for the Rotary Clubs to engage in this project. Many Rotarians and Friends of Rotary helped install these rescue tubes, and the warm reaction from the public is beyond words.”

According to Brian Beach, president of the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunrise, “Lifeguards are doing an amazing job to cover the huge area of ocean, and we hope these rescue tubes will supplement their great work.”

“We would like to encourage hotels and resorts to install rescue tubes at their properties, which literally saves lives. We will be happy to advise them how to install and maintain them,” said Heidi Dollinger, president of the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset.

Plans are under way for the clubs to produce a brochure and a video about the use of rescue tubes for visitors and residents alike.

Rotary Clubs are accepting donations to install more rescue tubes, maintain them and for public outreach.

Donations of $175 to purchase one rescue tube or any amount to support this ongoing project is welcome.

Contact Mariko Higashi of the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset at (808) 866-8116 or marikoinmaui@gmail.com if you would like to donate or have further questions regarding the project.

The Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset meets on the first and third Tuesday of every month at the Ocean Terrace Restaurant at the Royal Lahaina Resort starting at 5:30 p.m.

For more information on the club, or to volunteer for one of its many service projects, visit www.RotaryClubOfLahainaSunset.com.