Contribute to support the East Maui Rescue Tube Initiative

Help support the East Maui Rescue Tube Initiative annual goal!

A rescue tube ‘kit’ costs around $200; East Maui currently has 11 locations where rescue tubes are placed near swimming / surfing areas where swimming incidents have occurred. We’re raising money to ensure there is a fund for maintaining our existing rescue tube locations, and supporting education around water safety in this rugged natural environment. We began a campaign at the beginning of 2023 with an annual goal of $2,200 – the replacement cost it would take to repair or replace rescue tubes in all of the locations. We have begun this fund with foundation from a generous donation of $3000 from the Hāna Trust. Mahalo Maui Hikina!

**Link to donation page**

This effort was spearheaded by Retired Battalion Chief of Ocean Safety for the Maui Fire Department, Colin Yamamoto, and the West Maui Rotary Club following the groundwork laid in Kauai. With your help, East Maui Ready under the umbrella of the Hana Business Council, Inc. can reach this goal, and continue the work we’ve set out to do to ensure water safety and awareness in our community. Captain Gale Notestone, now retired Captain at Hana Fire Station, assisted with installing and maintaining the East Maui rescue tubes initially, and moving forward East Maui Ready representative Kamalu Carroll is carrying on this kuleana. 

Email us with any questions at info@eastmauiready.org. 

East Maui Ready ~ Ho‘omaukaukau Maui Hikina ~ Is a local volunteer organization that regularly meets to support the vision of organizing with our local Incident Command operation, to create a better prepared community as a collaboration of Agencies, Businesses and Partnerships working together towards a common goal in various disasters in East Maui. Our mission is to educate and assist our East Maui communities in being prepared, informed and ready to mitigate the effects of emergencies when disasters occur.

Hāna Business Council (HBC) is a sponsor of the East Maui Ready Rescue Tube Initiative and HanaMaui.com. HBC exists to support business endeavors, and to create business and employment opportunities within the special culture and traditions of aloha, for the health and welfare of our East Maui area. Hāna Business Council is a nonprofit tax-exempt IRS 501(c)(3) organization. Federal Tax ID #99-0313784.

Please help if you can. Every donation makes a difference.

Link to Kihei-Wailea Rotary Club Rescue Tube Project

Information on the timeline of the Rescue Tube project throughout Maui County.

Rescue Tubes are located on many popular East Maui beaches.

There are 11 locations in East Maui where you will find public access rescue tubes – each location has a GPS identified location code:

Wainapanapa Beach

#1 – End of concrete stairs #971

Kapueokahi Beach / Hana Bay

#1 – 20.75514 N / 155.9834 W      Beach Hale #963

#2 – 20.75508 N / 155.9829 W      Sand Ramp #961

Kaihalulu Beach

#1 – 20.75277 N / 155.98183 W    South End of Beach #959

Keanae Boat Ramp

#1 – Boat Ramp

Koki Beach

#1 – 20.72871 N / 155.98578 W    Near Cinder Hill #957

#2 – 20.72841 N / 155.98550 W    Closest to Hale #955

Hamoa Beach

#1 – 20.71979 N / 155.98746 W    Closest to Shower #953

#2 – 20.71948 N / 155.98772 W    Fronting Pavilion Shower #951

Waiohonu Stream / Waioka Pool

#1 – Above Pond #94

#2 – Above Entrance to Ocean #941


Physical Dimensions:

Length- 52”

Width- 6”

Depth- 3-1/8”

Color- Yellow with black pictograph instructions on how to use

Accessory- 8’ black nylon shoulder tow strap; 6’-9” X 1-1/4” white PVC mounting pole;

12” X 19” triangle yellow flag; 2” vinyl numbering system to assist with location and potential GPS coordinates

Purpose- Floatation device for up to 3 adults until 911 rescuers arrive



Kauai started the public access rescue tube initiative in 2008 and currently have about 240 rescue tubes along their shorelines. There have been 26 documented lives saved via

87 deployments affecting 148 people thanks to the work of Kauai Lifeguard Association and Hanalei Rotary Club who purchased, installed, and maintain public access rescue tubes on Kauai. Hawaii County followed in 2015 by installing 24 rescue tubes at designated county beach parks. Similarly, Maui County enlisted the help from Rotary Club Kihei-Wailea and installed 47 public access rescue tubes along south and east shores of Maui.



Hawaii has about 450 beaches but only 79 lifeguard towers. Hawaii averages 65 ocean drownings annually with an increasing trend from 2010. Roughly ¾ of all drownings in Maui and Kauai County are visitors. Maui alone recently had 10 ocean related drownings within two weeks in January 2018. According to the United States Lifesaving Association’s Lifeguard Effectiveness Report (1), swimming or snorkeling at a lifeguarded beach reduces the chance of drowning to 1 in 18 million. The State of Hawaii has jurisdiction of all Hawaii beaches yet provide funding for county lifeguards at only four beaches in Hawaii. Economically, it is not possible to provide lifeguards at every beach to reduce drowning and increase public safety which is an important factor visitors weigh in determining their vacation destination. It costs roughly $600K annually (salary plus fringe benefits) to adequately staff a lifeguard tower with a rescue water craft (a.k.a. jet ski), personnel, training, and misc. equipment. There are 371 unguarded beaches in Hawaii and limited county and state budgets to fund much needed lifeguards to preserve life and reduce liability to the State of Hawaii. Rescue tubes with mounting hardware/shipping cost only $130.



Organizations such as rotary clubs and lion clubs are willing to fund, install, and maintain public access rescue tubes. However, liability concerns from both state and county government, along with private beachfront land owners, are making it difficult and costly for service groups to provide public access rescue tubes. Amendments to the Hawaii Good Samaritan Law can reduce litigation fear and make available a rescue tool that has a proven track record in saving lives and preventing “double drownings” (the term used when a rescuer also drowns while attempting a rescue). History has shown family members and friends will not wait idly until 911 rescuers arrive. The rescue tube also provides a floatation mechanism for the rescuer as well as the victim.



·      Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death for non-residents, exceeding deaths from motor vehicle crashes, falls, and poisoning


·      There are over 300 non-fatal drownings in Hawaii per year, 90% of which require transport to hospitals


·      A study by the Hawaii Department of Health (2) that surveyed beach goers on Kauai reported that 46% of those surveyed would be inclined to take less risks in the presence of a public rescue tube (50% no influence, 4% more risks)


·      This same study also concluded that in general Kauai beach goers correctly interpret the proper use of and report an enhanced feeling of safety in the presence of public rescue tubes


1. Branche CM, Stewart S. (Editors). Lifeguard Effectiveness: A Report of the Working Group. Atlanta: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control; 2001.


2. Velasco, B., Galanis, D. Standing By in Paradise: A Study of the Kauai Public Rescue Tube Program.  Honolulu: Hawaii Department of Health Emergency Medical Services and Injury Prevention System Branch; 2017.