HONOLULU (KHON2) — Lifeguard training has begun on Oʻahu!

Being a lifeguard is a very important job in Hawaii. Water recreation is a central component of life here in the islands.

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There are a few lifeguards in Hawaii who achieve waterman status, people like Eddie Aikau and Luke Shepardson.

Mayor Rick Blangiardi has announced that the Honolulu Ocean Safety agency will be holding its very first Fall Junior Lifeguards Program.

“The goal of this program is to share near shore rescue techniques and life-saving skills for keiki ages 11-17,” said a spokesperson for the City and County of Honolulu.

The schedule provides one-day sessions at five locations on O`ahu.

“This great program is so important for our community,” said Mayor Rick Blangiardi. “Our Junior Lifeguard Program is a great way for some of the best lifeguards in the world to share their knowledge and skills with our island’s youth.”

Mayor Blangiardi went on to explain further.

“Our city lifeguards tell me that for every child they teach, that child turns around and shares the technique with 10 others, including friends, families, and neighbors,” added Mayor Blangiardi. “That kind of broad outreach results in education and awareness of the risks and hazards around our shoreline and helps improve public safety in a general sense at all of our beach parks.”

This program is a great entry into the life and professional career of a Hawaii lifeguard. HOS said that nearly a quarter of Oahu’s 287 lifeguards began their trek as Junior Lifeguards.

“Our Junior Lifeguard Program is important as a recruiting tool, as a way of educating young beachgoers on life-saving skills, and in simply promoting good stewardship of the shoreline,” said Honolulu Chief of Ocean Safety John Titchen. “We truly believe as lifeguards that this program saves lives. Even if just one of our keiki comes away with the confidence to help someone in an ocean emergency, we have succeeded.”

Ocean Safety has worked closely with the Department of Parks and Recreation to bring these classes to our keiki. They are taking place Oct. 9 through Oct. 13 at these locations:

  • The Kualoa Beach Park training session is set for Monday, Oct. 9.
  • The “Sherwoods” — Hūnānaniho, or Waimānalo Bay Beach Park — training is set for Tuesday, Oct. 10.
  • The Pōkaʻī Bay Beach Park training session is set for Wednesday, Oct. 11.
  • The Kaimana Beach training session is set for Thursday, Oct. 12.
  • The Kailua Beach Park training session is set for Friday, Oct. 13.

These sessions begin at 9 a.m. and go through 3 p.m. You can click here to use the online registration system to get your kieki involved.

The City and County of Honolulu said that they restarted their Junior Lifeguard Program in 2022. Since then, there have been nearly 2,000 keiki who have participated.

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The 2022 sessions were followed by an island championship at Mākaha and a state Junior Lifeguards Leadership Challenge that was part of the “DukeFest” in Waikīkī.