Lifeguard Services Restored at Oneloa “Big Beach” in Mākena
Lifeguard towers at Oneloa “Big Beach” in Mākena have resumed operations as of this morning.
The County of Maui Dept of Fire and Public Safety extended thanks to Mayor Michael Victorino, and partners at the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources for their efforts in restoring the service.
The COVID-19 pandemic reportedly took lifeguards off of the Oneloa tower and “thwarted plans” to set up a separate tower at Puʻu Kekaʻa in West Maui, according to a September 2020 report in The Maui News.
The state Department of Health reports that Hawai’i averaged 80 deaths per year from ocean drowning between 2015 and 2019. The annual total fell to 52 fatal ocean drownings after Hawai‘i shut down in 2020 due to COVID-19. This included 15 visitors.
The department notes that on average, one visitor dies by drowning every week in Hawai‘i.