The Coast Guard, Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services, Hawai’i County Fire and up to 60 event emergency responders on surfboards will establish a response zone around the swim course to manage the spectators, boating traffic, and safety of all race participants for the 2017 Ironman World Championship practice and official race in the vicinity of Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawai’i Oct. 7 and 14.
“This joint effort ensures the safety of more than 2,300 participants conducting a 2.4 mile swim,” said Lt. j.g. Brian Waters, of Coast Guard Sector Honolulu’s enforcement division. “A strong Coast Guard and joint presence is not unusual for the Ironman. Responders will be in place Saturday for the training swim and Oct. 14 for the official race to effectively manage the increased traffic.”
The Coast Guard Cutter Galveston Island (WPB 1349), two response boats from the Maritime Safety and Security Team Honolulu, and an MH-65 Dolphin crew from Air Station Barbers Point are involved in addition to the HCF rescue boat, OSLS jet skis and lifeguards and event emergency responders.
The swim race will begin at 6:25 a.m. on both the ho’ala training swim and official race days. Mariners in the area should maintain heightened awareness of swimmers, surfers and paddle boarders. Overloaded vessels, boaters operating negligently, and flotillas operating in the vicinity the official swim course, starting ashore at Palani Road and extending 2.4 miles offshore, will be contacted and returned to shore.
Coast Guard crews will provide a law enforcement presence in the area throughout the week and conduct recreational boating safety outreach.
For more information contact the 14th District Public Affairs Office at 808-535-3230.