‘Rescue Tubes’ Can Aid Distressed Swimmers, SnorkelersDecember 10, 2012, 5:46 PM HST (Updated December 10, 2012, 5:48 PM)
A Hilo civic club has donated two dozen “rescue tubes” at Hilo-area beach parks to allow the public to aid swimmers and other ocean users in distress.
The apparatus consists of a yellow flotation device about four feet long mounted on a PVC stand topped with a flag. Each stand also includes a strap, whistle and identification markings.
The Rotary Club of South Hilo donated the rescue tubes costing about $100 apiece and is also installing them.
Club officials said the 220 rescue tubes installed on Kauai have been used to aid ocean users at least 55 times.
A spokesman for the county Department of Parks and Recreation noted that the rescue tubes are not toys and should be used only in emergencies. Misuse of the apparatus could leave them unavailable should they be needed to save a life.
Installations have already started at county beach parks between Lehia Beach Park at the end of Kalanianaole Avenue in Keaukaha to Kolekole Beach Park north of Honomu about eight miles north of Hilo. The areas receiving the tubes include Hilo Bayfront Beach and Coconut Island.