For some time we have been watching the slow progression of a bill that is making its way through the Hawaii legislative process and it is this bill that should be considered right here in Southern California as well.
The item we are referring to is Hawaii House Bill 184.
Hawaii House Bill 184 would not only mandate commercial ocean operators who take customers into state waters to engage in recreational activities to have at least one individual aboard the vessel who is a certified rescue diver or lifeguard (USLA), it would also require such vessels to have a backboard, emergency oxygen, and an automated external defibrillator (AED) onboard.
We applaud this move and would like to see its implementation as it will save lives. Although there may be some opposition to it, this would come from The Department of Land and Natural Resources who say that it is the responsibility of the USCG to oversee this and not the state.
“The Department of Land and Natural Resources respectfully opposes this measure because of potential liability to the State and jurisdictional issues with federal regulations,” she said in written testimony. “While the Department acknowledges the importance of customer safety measures, the United States Coast Guard is the appropriate entity to consider and implement the requirements proposed by this measure. USCG already requires a comprehensive list of safety requirements for documented commercial vessels and commercial operators.
“Additionally, SCUBA diving instructors and tour operators are required to meet Professional Association of Diving Instructor/National Association of Underwater Instructor standards.”
We currently work aboard The Legend Yacht Charter here in Marina Del Rey, CA however not all charters have thought of putting a lifeguard aboard for the protection of crew and guests. Some may raise financial concerns saying it is too expensive but the question we ask is how much value should be placed on the safety of crew and guests? Our services are invaluable as far as we are concerned.
The idea that commercial vessels and yacht charters have an AED on board is an excellent idea as out on open water, help may be delayed but rapid intervention for someone experiencing cardiac arrest would increase the odds of a better outcome. It is true that of USCG inspected vessels, the crew be certified in Red Cross CPR/AED however there still remains the issue of having an AED on board just in case.
The following links are stories of fatalities and accidents in or near Marina Del Rey which makes a great case for lifeguards on vessels:
Having lifeguards on board could help to mitigate injuries or accidents on the water however not all incidents may be prevented due to conditions or situations beyond control such as weather for example.
If you are interested in having a lifeguard/medic aboard a yacht charter, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org