HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - After 20 years of lifeguard protection at Yokohama Beach, the city says lifeguards won’t be stationed there anytime soon.
The issue arose after the death of 15-year-old No’eau Lima last week while he was diving in the waters of the closed state beach.
The state said it halted funding for lifeguards because of the COVID crisis and the park closure. But now the city says the state isn’t promising to hire lifeguards — even after the beach reopens.
“So with that unfortunate incident that happened there, that’s a critical place to have coverage,” councilwoman Heidi Tsuneyoshi said in a recent hearing.
But administrators say crucial funding is needed to get lifeguards back on that beach.
“...Nor do they intend to recontract with us for the next fiscal year for the provision of those tower lifeguard services for that area. Without the funding, we can’t proceed,” James Howe, the city director of Emergency Services, said.
The land department has said contracts will be renegotiated when there is sufficient money available.