Thieves Rob HFD Water Rescue of $30,000 in Equipment

May 11, 2020, 4:24 PM HST (Updated May 11, 2020, 4:24 PM)
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HFD’s Polaris off-road vehicle was stolen Monday morning, May 11, 2020. PC: Hawaii County

A locked storage shed at Isaac Kepo‘okalani Hale Beach Park has been robbed, the County of Hawai‘i said in a press release.

Thieves broke into the shed early Monday morning and stole Hawai‘i Fire Department equipment including a Polaris off-road vehicle used to launch the park’s rescue watercraft.

The theft occurred around 5 a.m., and a security guard just coming on duty witnessed two males escaping on a Polaris 500 utility vehicle loaded with equipment, according to HFD.

The equipment included a Lifepack automated external defibrillator (AED), a Motorola portable radio, a rescue paddleboard, a spinal immobilization board and 200 feet of heavy-duty rescue rope. The estimated value of the stolen equipment was $30,000.

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The theft of the safety equipment takes away much-needed assets that assist the Fire Department Ocean Safety Officers (lifeguards) in performing water rescues.

“Because of this theft, the beach park and Puna district lost the service of the Rescue Water Craft, which is priceless in saving lives at one of the most dangerous shore breaks on the island,” Hawaii Fire Department Deputy Chief Lance Uchida said. “The Polaris was used to launch the Ski at the beach park, and without the Ski, we put our lifeguards in unneeded danger during water rescues.”

“We ask the public to please assist the police in finding the perpetrators,” Uchida said.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the police non-emergency number at 808-935-3311.

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