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Vandals Destroy Two Handicapped Pool Lifts

November 14, 2019, 4:52 PM HST
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The NAS Swimming Pool in Hilo. Photo by Dave Smith.

Handicapped pool chair lifts at two Big Island swimming pools have been vandalized and will be out of operation until further notice, the Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation reported Thursday.

The lifts at Kawamoto Swim Stadium and NAS Swimming Pool, both located in Hilo, are out of service. The pool lift at Kawamoto Swim Stadium was recently vandalized by someone entering the pool facility after hours, a Parks and Rec press release explained. The vandals cut the wires and removed the motor from the lift. The department will order the required parts and repair the lift, the release said.

The pool lift at NAS Swimming pool was recently vandalized by someone coming into the pool after hours and pushing the lift into the pool. This lift is considered a total loss due to water damage and must be replaced, the release stated. The department is unsure of when this lift can be replaced as the replacement cost is approximately $8,000.

The handicapped pool chair lifts exist to help those who would otherwise have difficulty entering and exiting the pool safely — generally, people with mobility issues. These acts of vandalism mean that patrons in wheelchairs, for example, will be unable to enter and exit the pools with ease until the lifts are back in operation.

To report information about these incidents, contact the police non-emergency number at 808-935-3311.

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If property damage or vandalism is found at any of your parks and beaches, inform Parks and Recreation as soon as possible at 808-961-8311.

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