Yellow rescue tubes save lives on South Maui beaches
These bright yellow floatation tubes were installed on many South maui beaches last summer as a way to aid with water rescues, thanks to the Rotary Club of Kihei-Wailea. They have proved themselves to be valuable already and more will soon be installed to save swimmers from drowning.
In January a visiting Canadian woman and another man rushed to the rescue of a woman offshore in Wailea, and saved her from drowning, only to have to dash back into the water to save another potential victim. With rough seas and strong currents, even experienced swimmers can have a hard time keeping afloat.
The trend started on Kauai in 2008 and has caught on here on Maui and across the country too. There's way too many people drowning here at our beaches, and often times a double drowning occurs when someone tries to help, only to be overcome by the waves. With the use of these tubes, many lives have been saved, and no double drownings have occurred on Kauai since that time.
A yellow rescue tube at Kalama Beach Park in Kihei Maui
Call 911 first before attempting a rescue. The tubes come with printed instructions stating only strong swimmers should take them into the water. They're about 50 inches long with a tether, and can keep 3 adults afloat. Tubes are mounted on poles that are numbered for easy identification of the location for first responders.
There won't always be a lifeguard station at every beach, so it's important that beachgoers take note of the nearest yellow tube in case of an emergency. Many Maui beaches are in remote spots without cell phone service and first responders could be a long time arriving. These yellow tubes can make all the difference between life and death. Local clubs and associations are donating the funds to have more tubes installed where they are needed.
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