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Junior Lifeguard finals Saturday

NAWILIWILI — The high surf pummeling Kalapaki Beach could not stop the Kauai Junior Lifeguards Monday.

“This is it,” said Eugene Ancheta, one of the ocean safety instructors. “We have the Kauai Island Championships coming up Saturday here at Kalapaki Beach.”

Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. with the sporting games to follow.

“This year, we’re getting the keiki involved,” said Kalani Vierra, Kauai Ocean Safety Bureau chief.

The keiki will be participating in three events.

Once the Kauai championships are done, the Kauai Junior Lifeguard leaders meet to decide on an all-Kauai team that will advance to the state championships on Oahu on July 27.

Kauai juniors held a string of 12 consecutive state victories before it was interrupted by a year when the state title was taken by another island. Last year, Kauai rebounded to reclaim the state honor.

The island championships represent the culmination of the free program offered by the county to keiki ages 8 through 11, and juniors from 12 to 17 years old. Class size was limited to 50 students at each of the participating sites — Salt Pond, Hanalei, and Kalapaki — over a period that started June 10 and will wrap up this Friday.

During the program which was pretty much sold out at its different locations, participants learn ocean safety awareness and lifesaving skills taught by Ocean Safety Bureau instructors and lifeguards.

Additional topics in the hands-on learning environment include drug awareness, rescue skills, CPR, first aid, teamwork, problem solving, beach hazards, and beach and ocean awareness.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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