Lawmakers push for more lifeguards
Several lawmakers say Hawaii's State beach parks need more lifeguards.
HONOLULU - Several lawmakers say Hawaii's State beach parks need more lifeguards.
Before recent national news headlines of drownings in Hawaii, state lawmakers have been looking at ways to prevent people from dying in the ocean.
"We've already had a 5 percent drop in visitors this year. I'm not saying the two are connected but it cant help when you're trying to tell visitors hey Hawaii is a safe place to come play in water enjoy the beach when these kinds of incidents are happening," said Representative Angus McKelvey.
Chair, Watch, and Land Committee Representative, Ryan Yamane, also believes that the presence of lifeguards is vital.
The Department of Land and Natural Resources contracts County lifeguards to monitor it's beaches.
It currently gets five thousand dollars to cover those jobs.
Yamane says a million dollars more could increase their resources threefold.
In it's testimony, the DLNR says costs to staff four of it's state beach parts across Kauai, Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii Island have gone up just over a million-dollars this year due to new county lifeguard contracts.
The measure passed it's first public hearing.