HONOLULU (KHON2) – A lifeguard’s number one duty is making sure people are safe while in the ocean.

During Hawaii’s lifeguard appreciation week, the County of Kauai and the Ocean Safety Bureau of Kauai wanted to highlight their only female lifeguard Sanoe Ho’okano.

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“Being the only female lifeguard, I mean I don’t feel any different,” said Ho’okano. “I know all the guys, they are like my brothers, they don’t treat me any different.”

Ho’okano said she has been around the ocean her entire life. Both her father and uncle were lifeguards so she thought it would be fitting if she pursued the same career as them.

“It was just natural that I went into the same profession,” said Ho’okano. “Getting paid to be in the ocean helping people, working out and getting paid for it.”

She said a lot of tourists who come to Kauai know little to nothing about the ocean. The ocean current can change within minutes and that could change a fun situation into a scary or even deadly situation. 

“You have to be the person to do the prevention so they don’t get in trouble,” said Ho’okano.

She said being in shape is her number one priority because the job and people’s lives depend on her. 

“Knowing how to see someone that needs help, being able to watch the water all day long and having a good attitude,” said Ho’okano. “Working well with others, getting along with your coworkers and being able to take criticism from others.” 

She said the ocean views in Kauai never get old and you can’t beat having a job that allows you to jump into the ocean every day. 

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Ho’okano said it’s nice to feel appreciated and enjoys it when people take time out of their day to thank her for the important role lifeguards have.