READ: Hawaii Lifeguards Could Lose Legal Protection
April 20, 2017
On April 18, surfline.com published an article (Hawaii Lifeguards Could Lose Legal Protection) exposing proposed legislation that could affect the safety of beach-goers in Hawaii.
In a letter to the editor, Unit 14 member Mel Puu (Ocean Safety Rescue Operator) said, "This bill allows lifeguards to do their jobs without hesitation. The only ones who will benefit from taking away this protection is not the public, but the Hawaii Association for Justice, a group of attorneys that are pushing to take away the liability protection."
"Lifeguards in Hawaii perform their duties under the most adverse and dangerous conditions in the world," he said. "We are the number one at-risk ocean lifeguards in the world, and yet we are among the lowest paid lifeguards in the nation." Click here to read Puu's full letter.
In a statement regarding this matter, HGEA Executive Director Randy Perreira said, "While elected officials are engaged in a debate over who is responsible for liability on our beaches, HGEA seeks to remind both State and County leaders that protections for the lifeguards on these beaches should not be lost in the debate. These critical employees who routinely risk their lives to protect others deserve to be protected by the law from any personal liability, allowing them to perform their jobs without worrying about defending themselves in a courtroom later."