News Archive

Mahalo Water Safety Officers

August 21, 2023

Thank you to all of our Water Safety Officers from across Hawaii.

On this recognition week, we celebrate the dedicated service of those who ensure and educate our community about water safety. We appreciate all that you do!

While we celebrate the contributions of these public servants, our hearts are heavy that many of our Maui HGEA ohana have lost homes, their way of life and loved ones. HGEA grieves with these members who have given so much to their community.

Here are a few of their stories:

Kaleo Lopez, Kauai
Ocean Safety Officer IV
Unit 15 Member

What’s rewarding to me is being able to give back and make a positive impact in our community. Coming from an ohana full of watermen, it comes naturally to want to help and perpetuate the teachings I have been blessed to learn about the ocean – be it working a tower keeping visitors and locals safe, the Junior Lifeguard program, or presentations teaching ocean safety to the keiki at public and charter schools. What’s rewarding is being a role model and inspiring keiki and other ocean-minded people to pay it forward and give back to the community and live a healthy lifestyle, as well.

Jonah Kayes, Hawaii Island
Water Safety Officer II
Unit 15 Member

The most rewarding part of being a Water Safety Officer is helping people enjoy our oceans safely. I'm honored to be present while families are forming stronger bonds and their happiest memories. My job makes an impact on our community, helping keep all our community members safe at the ocean – novices and experts, young and old, local and visitors. I'm most proud of the times where I've been able to talk about ocean safety to large groups. I like to imagine that lives will be saved many years from now simply because people share their knowledge and experiences with each other. To be part of this makes me proud.

Bradley Young, Hawaii Island
Water Safety Officer II
Unit 15 Member

The most rewarding part of being a Water Safety Officer is that I get to use my strength and knowledge in the ocean to help people. Through frequent public contacts, I enjoy the opportunity to spread the aloha spirit to people visiting from near or far. My job makes a positive impact on our community mostly by educating people how to safely enjoy our beautiful beaches, and by reducing the frequency that other emergency response resources are needed. I am particularly proud of the preventative measures, first aid, and rescues provided by our ocean safety team, as well as our Hawaii Fire Department and law enforcement agencies. Together, I know we will grow to meet the needs of our community.

Chantelle Brown, Maui
Ocean Safety Officer IV
Unit 15 Member

My job makes a positive impact in the community by educating and protecting the public, whether it be locals or visitors of all ages. We provide education in numerous ways, such as being involved in community events, supporting the Junior Lifeguard program, and helping anyone who approaches our lifeguard towers. Preventative actions are our No. 1 priority, preventing injuries before they happen. I've been a part of ocean safety for a long time, and with all humility, I've had a few accomplishments throughout my career. However, there is no "I" in team... and I couldn't have done all that I have done if it wasn't for those around me in whom I live with and work with. Mahalo Ke Akua.

Travis White, Maui
Ocean Safety Officer II
Unit 15 Member

As an ocean safety officer, our jobs positively impact our community in so many ways. For me personally, it’s getting to teach our youth the importance of safely enjoying the ocean and learning to help others in times of need through the Junior Lifeguard program.


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