HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

558

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2019

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

Relating to kekaha kai state park.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that lifeguards act as the primary responders for emergencies on shorelines and within nearshore waters, where the majority of ocean recreation activity takes place. Lifeguards also provide injury control and dispatch ocean rescue services. Moreover, the legislature also finds that although Kua Bay, Kekaha Kai state park (Kua Bay) in North Kona on the island of Hawaii is under the jurisdiction of the department of land and natural resources, the State currently does not employ its own lifeguards at Kua Bay.

The legislature further finds that the location of Kua Bay between Kona and the resorts of Kohala Coast and improvements to Kekaha Kai state park, such as a paved road and comfort station, have led to an increase in visits by locals and tourists, making Kua Bay one of the most popular beaches in the State. Consequently, the increase in visitation is accompanied by an increase in dangerous incidents, injuries, and deaths, which could be mitigated by placement of lifeguards at Kua Bay.

From 2013 to 2016, emergency medical service patient care reported twenty-eight calls from the Kua Bay area, fourteen alone from 2016, with nineteen of the calls resulting in hospitalization for a traumatic injury. Additionally, the Hawaii Trauma Registry reports that there were seven spinal cord injuries from 2009 to 2013. According to the department of health's emergency medical services and injury prevention system branch's GIS database of fatal drownings, three people have drowned in the Kua Bay area since 2013.

The purpose of this Act is to save lives and prevent injury at Kua Bay by appropriating funds for the employment of lifeguards and for necessary equipment.

SECTION 2. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $400,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2019-2020 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2020-2021 for the establishment of four full time equivalent (4.0 FTE) permanent ocean safety officers for Maniniōwali beach at Kua bay in the Kekaha Kai state park on the island of Hawaii; provided that the county of Hawaii shall hire and provide benefits for the four full-time equivalent (4.0 FTE) permanent ocean safety officer positions established pursuant to this Act.

The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of land and natural resources for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 3. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $80,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2019-2020 for the department of land and natural resources to purchase equipment to be used by state ocean safety officers in the course of their work at Maniniōwali beach at Kua Bay in the Kekaha Kai state park on the island of Hawaii; provided that the sum appropriated shall be expended as follows:

(1) $60,000 for one lifeguard tower;

(2) $8,000 for one all-terrain vehicle;

(3) $8,000 for radios;

(4) $3,000 for rescue equipment; and

(5) $1,000 for protective equipment.

The sum appropriated shall be expended by the department of land and natural resources for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2019.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

Kua Bay; Lifeguards; Equipment; Appropriations

 

Description:

Appropriates funds for the employment of lifeguards and for life-saving equipment at Kua Bay.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.