Kua Bay (Maniniowali Beach) Lifeguard Station blessed and now on-duty as of July 1st, 2019
On Monday morning (July 1st), the Hawaii Fire Department (HFD) Ocean Safety division lifeguards held a small blessing of the new lifeguard station and crew that will be manning the station at Kua Bay (or Maniniowali Beach).
After a years long battle for funding to add lifeguard to one of the island's most popular beach, it finally came into fruition in the 2019 Hawaii State Legislative session, where $480,000 was designated to the new lifeguard station on Hawaii island in the 2019 - 2020 Fiscal Year Budget for the State of Hawai'i, that went into effect on Monday, July 1st, 2019.
The funding covers the cost of 4 Water Safety Officers positions along with the equipment (lifeguard tower, radio, rescue boards, AED, backboards, etc.) needed for the new station as well.
On June 25th to 28th, 2019, State of Hawai'i Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) crews worked to install the lifeguard tower at the beach. The lifeguard tower installed, originally from Spencer Beach Park in Kawaihae, was relocated to Kua Bay. Reason for the decision according an Ocean Safety division spokesperson was Mayor Harry Kim immediately wanted a tower installed at Kua Bay, once state funding was approved and accepted. And the decision to move the tower from Spencer Beach Park, manned only during weekends to holidays and Spencer Beach Park also has plenty of shade as well, was made rather than await the arrival of newly fabricated tower, which that new tower is expected to arrive on island in Fall to late 2019.
Once that tower arrives on island, it will replace a smaller lifeguard tower located on Hapuna Beach fronting the Westin Hapuna Beach Resort and that tower will later be installed at Spencer Beach Park, replacing the one that was relocated to Kua Bay.
Immediately following the blessing, Kua Bay Lifeguard Station # 26 went online and began watching over beachgoers and patrons at Kua Bay. Lifeguards will be on-duty from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm daily, some situations will come on-duty earlier or go off-duty later.