Beach Signage: A Perspective from Paradise

TitleBeach Signage: A Perspective from Paradise
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsGoto, RS
Conference NameInternational Medical-Rescue Conference
Date Published09/1997
PublisherInternational Life Saving Federation
Conference LocationSan Diego, California, USA
Call Number13
Other Numbers092

Hawaii is internationally known for the natural beauty of its magnificent beaches and surrounding ocean waters. The Pacific Ocean in these latitudes is clear, warm, and inviting. A myriad of recreational activities take place in, on, and beneath the waters around our island paradise. These activities include: surfing, swimming, snorkeling, boating, fishing, windsurfing, SCUBA diving, sunbathing, and ... surfing.

Each year, Hawaii is the vacation destination for six million visitors. These visitors arrive from all over the world, and account for 16-18 million beach visits annually. With a resident population of almost one million, we estimate that beach attendance for the island of Oahu is conservatively 15-17 million every year. Married to this estimate is the assumption that the more interactions that take place between human beings and the ocean, the more opportunities exist for mishaps.

Statistically, this assumption has been supported by the number of rescues and preventive interventions recorded annually by Honolulu City and County lifeguard personnel since 1990. Since the mid-1980's, the City and County of Honolulu’s Water Safety Division (since 1995, the Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services Division) has pursued an aggressive strategy of prevention and intervention as an integral part of its mission. In addition to the constant state of readiness needed by a lifeguard service to react and respond to aquatic emergencies, a conscious effort to prevent these incidents from occurring is now included in all operational procedures and training opportunities.