With a rash of visitor deaths tourism officials try to promote new safety tips

Published  9:47 PM HST Jul 11, 2013
HONOLULU -

With a rash of visitor deaths, the Hawaii Tourism Authority and Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii are trying to get people to travel smarter.

Thursday morning just before noon, a 63-year-old Korean tourist died while apparently snorkeling at Hanauma Bay. On Kauai, at least ten people, mostly tourists, have drowned this year in beaches and streams.

"There's a lot of visitors that we call daredevil visitors and what they love is they go in to high surf sometimes in areas where they are not supposed to go," said Jessica Rich with VASH.

That's why the HTA and VASH have created a new online Safety eBrochure covering everything from water safety, detailing beach signs to outdoor recreation tips. They want tourists well informed even before landing.

The new push for safety comes after what tourism officials say is a rash of visitor deaths. VASH says on average more than 2,000 tourists need assistance annually and that's just on Oahu.

"They let their guard down and they normally do things on vacation that they would never do while they were at home such as going in high surf or leaving their purse unattended," said Rich.

Visitors like Brett Madres are eager to jump in and experience all the beauty of Hawaii even though, he knows it can be dangerous.

"I definitely want to experience the ocean when I'm out here that's part of the appeal, so I'm going to leave a little bit of my risk tolerance behind when I'm going out there," said Madres.

But officials want to make sure that before he dives in, they've given him and all tourists the tools to stay safe.

The safety e-brochure will be translated into Chinese, Japanese, and Korean later this year. You can find it by going to the as seen on section of kitv.com.

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