New lifeguard station at Kewalo Basin will help with south shore rescues

A new facility is expected to help lifeguards save more lives, thanks to a community effort.

Ocean Safety now has a lifeguard response station at Kewalo Basin Harbor. The new facility has a dock that will house rescue jet-skis, a gangplank, a rescue boat, and office space for lifeguards.

Officials say the new facility is much needed, especially after a recent spike in water rescues on the south shore.

“It will allow ocean safety to get out quickly in any situations needed,” said Todd Apo, vice-resident of community development with the Howard Hughes Corp. “It’s all part of building a better community in Kakaako.”

Ocean Safety acting captain Kevin Allen said “normally, what we’d have to do is that lifeguards would jump in the trunk, have ski on trailer, drive to harbor, take 15-20 minutes. By us having this on the water, we can be on these things within 60 seconds.”

The city joined forces with Kewalo Basin Harbor, Ward Village, the Howard Hughes Corporation, and the Hawaii Community Development Authority to build the new response station.

The station is already being used as a home base for lifeguards and emergency jet skis on the South Shore and will house the rescue boat in early 2016.

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