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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         July 1, 2005

Release ESD-6





Thousands of Hawaii-bound travelers are getting some potentially lifesaving tips from two city lifeguards, thanks to Hawaiian Airlines and the Ocean Safety Division of the City’s Department of Emergency Services.


Hawaiian Airlines underwrote production by Scott Sorenson of Coco Palms Pictures of a 2-minute, 30-second video it is showing on all of its Hawaii-bound overseas flights --  more than 4,000 people a day. The video features City lifeguards Peter Erwin and Bianca Salazar offering basic safety pointers and explaining some common warning signs, such as “dangerous shorebreak” and “strong current.”


Ocean Safety Division Chief Ralph Goto sought for years to have ocean safety messages shown to Hawaii-bound visitors. A friend of his got word to Hawaiian Airlines officials, who agreed with Goto.


“I’m very proud of the excellent job our Ocean Safety lifeguards do in protecting the lives of local residents and visitors alike,” said Mayor Mufi Hannemann. “This safety video will help them in that mission, and we extend a big mahalo to Hawaiian Airlines for stepping up and providing it.”


Mark Dunkerley , president and chief executive officer of Hawaiian Airlines, said, “As a key player in the Hawaii visitor experience, we felt it was our responsibility to get involved and share this important message of water safety with our customers and their families. We’re fortunate in that Hawaii has the world’s most beautiful beaches and the best lifeguards, but we want visitors to know how they can exercise caution and stay safe while they’re in the islands.”


Goto noted that 71 people drowned last year in Hawaii, 40 of them visitors. The statewide toll was the highest in years. “We hope the video will give visitors information about the unique ocean conditions here and will keep them out of harm’s way,” said Goto.


“We are happy and grateful that Hawaiian Airlines has embraced this project. We hope other carriers will see the value of the project and produce similar ocean safety videos,” Goto said.


NOTE TO EDITORS: Copies of the video are available on DVD format. Call Mark Matsunaga 527-5767/c352-1528.



Media contact: 

            Ralph Goto, Ocean Safety Division Chief, 922-3888

Friday, July 01, 2005

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