LIHU`E, HI – The Kaua`i Lifeguard Association (KLA) has settled upon 11 non-profit organizations/programs on Kaua`i that focus on ocean safety, training, and education. This is the first of 11 articles on the newly formed “KLA Ohana” — groups that will benefit from the 2012 Second Wave “Help Save Lives” campaign. This article is on the “WAVE” Program.
If you love the water, Kaua`i is one of the most stunning, exotic, and pristine spots in the world to enjoy it — whether snorkeling, surfing, kayaking, paddleboarding, kiting, or just simply swimming, it’s truly a water wonderland. It can also be deadly if you don’t know what you’re doing. And unfortunately most of us don’t.
Whether you’re a resident here or a visitor, everyone needs to learn the basics of water safety in order to avert tragedy – at least that’s what longtime Kaua`i resident and aquatic expert Pat Durkin thinks. And Durkin should know — over time he’s been a Kaua`i lifeguard, owner of a swim school, tour boat operator, aquatic forensic investigator, and leader of the Jr. Lifeguard program since first coming to Kaua`i in 1978 with his wife Janet.
Even one life lost is one too many for Durkin. “Education is a proactive approach to drowning prevention,” he said. “I think of all the lives – all the families that are forever affected by their loved one drowning — I think of how preventable it might have been, and I’m motivated.”