HONOLULU (KHON2) — Starting on Thursday, August 1, Ocean Safety officials will implement extended hours for its lifeguard patrol services islandwide.

The new service hours for the Kauai Fire Department’s Ocean Safety Bureau (OSB) Roving Patrol Units will be from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., daily.

Service hours at all lifeguard towers will remain unchanged, and stationed personnel will continue to monitor guarded beaches from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily.

“OSB’s Roving Patrol Units are essential for our ocean safety efforts, as they provide coverage for busy beaches that don’t have a stationed lifeguard tower,” said OSB Chief Kalani Vierra. “Extending our roving patrol service hours will be a one-year pilot program meant to provide additional support for our existing efforts to promote ocean safety messages, prevent ocean-related incidents, and respond quickly to incidents-in-progress.”

OSB’s Roving Patrol Units consist of three to four highly-trained lifeguards who cover the primary beaches in the following districts:

  • South: Kekaha to Maha‘ulepu;
  • East: Kalapakī to Rock Quarry; and
  • North: Rock Quarry to Kē‘ē.

Additional Roving Units are dispatched to other areas of concern as needed.

While Ocean Safety officials recommend swimming only at lifeguarded areas, they offer the following tips for all beachgoers:

  1. Use the buddy system.
  2. Check for the latest ocean conditions at www.hawaiibeachsafety.com.
  3. Before entering the water, observe the ocean conditions for at least 20 minutes. Take special note of any dangerous shore break or rip currents.
  4. Observe for any warnings or signs posted in the general area.
  5. Always have an emergency action plan.

“Wherever you plan to enjoy the ocean, always remember to know your limits, know the conditions, and when in doubt, don’t go out,” said Vierra.

For updated information about ocean conditions, please speak to a county lifeguard, log onto www.hawaiibeachsafety.com, or call the Ocean Safety Bureau at 241-4984.