Ocean Recreation and Waterfront Safety
Stack of yellow rescue flotation devices on the beach

Program Coordinator

Ian ‘Akahi Masterson
tel: (808) 235-7331
email: imasters@hawaii.edu

Program Assistant

Johnelle DeJesus
tel: (808) 235-7331
email: oceaned@hawaii.edu

Hawaii Ocean Education Academy

The University of Hawai‘i is proud to present the Hawai‘i Ocean Education Academy. Our mission is to provide education and training in ocean recreation and safety activities that will benefit the visitor industries as well as the ocean recreation communities in Hawai‘i and abroad. Championed by Windward Community College, this program offers professional development opportunities in the field of Ocean Recreation, Ocean Safety, Emergency Response, Tourism, and Hospitality. Students completing each course gain a basic understanding of the history, principles and best practices locally and nationally, and traditional Hawaiian cultural context of the activity as well. Participants are also exposed to the equipment and learn performance techniques with in-water demonstrations and hands-on skill building sessions in the ocean. Join us on an educational ocean voyage beginning here at the Hawaii Ocean Education Academy!
Lifeguard performing in water rescue using a surfboard with a victim and paddling in.

Red Cross Waterfront Lifeguard Training & Ocean Safety Technician Combo (Lecture, Pool & Beach)

Red Cross Waterfront lifeguard Training: This course will teach lifeguard candidates the skills and knowledge needed to prevent and respond to aquatic emergencies. The course content and activities prepare candidates to recognize and respond quickly and effectively to emergencies, and prevent drowning and injuries. The student will be introduced to a variety of environments, including pools, waterfronts, water parks, shallow water attractions, and coastlines. This course provides participants an opportunity for American Red Cross Waterfront Lifeguard Certification, provided all requirements are met. Upon successful completion of the course, the Certificate of Professional Development is good for 2 years. Prior to certificate expiration, a one-day recertification course provides participants an opportunity for a skills challenge and written examination in order to re-certify as an American Red Cross Waterfront Lifeguard.

This course is a hybrid training with both in-water sessions and an on-line instructional component to be completed prior to the first day of instruction by logging on to redcross.org (a code will be issued after registration is complete). Specific information needed in order to complete this instructional component is given upon course registration.

Ocean Safety Technician Training: The Ocean Safety Technician training course is intended for persons involved in ocean recreation activities and businesses in Hawaii who need to learn basic ocean safety management practices and ocean rescue skills. The curriculum includes Standard First Aid & CPR/AED certification, basic ocean rescue skills training, and subject matter specific to aquatic recreation including snorkeling, sailing, paddling, and surfing sports from the professional disciplines of epidemiology, human factors, marine science, sociology, law, and culture. The course will provide the participant with the skills and resource materials to develop a Risk Management Plan, which is a requirement of the Department of Education for Surf Club development, and is recommended for all commercial Ocean Recreation operations. A Certificate of Professional Development as an Ocean Safety Technician states that the participant has met all the requirements of the course and has demonstrated competency in basic ocean rescue skills and ocean safety risk management skills used by Hawaii’s professional ocean safety practitioners at Hawaii’s beaches and near-shore waters. The Certificate also entitles the participant to serve as a State of Hawai’i, Department of Education Surf Coach. It is valid for two years, at which time a refresher course is offered for participants who need re-certification.
 
Prerequisites:
  • Students must be 15 years of age and be able to complete a 500-yard swim in a pool prior to the start of the course.
  • Students must have valid First Aid and CPR certificates prior to receiving their Certificate of Professional Development as an Ocean Safety Technician from WCC.
OAHU
Instructors:  Glenn Pang, John Clark, Patrick Durkin
Contact hours: 24
Meeting time: 8:30 am–4:30 pm
Location:  Windward CC, Hale Kuhina 114, Pool TBD, Beach TBD
Cost:  $450*

FIT7104   5/22, 5/23 & 5/24   3 mtgs.
*This course qualifies for State of Hawaii's ETF funding program.
Windward Community College Hawaiian sailing canoe with students on Kaneohe Bay.

Hawaiian Canoe Sailing

Instructor: Leimomi Kekina Dierks (808) 236-9296, kekina@hawaii.edu

This course will teach you basic Hawaiian canoe sailing and navigational skills while increasing your swimming and water safety skills.  You will conduct basic canoe operations, including rigging, sailing and caring for/respecting the canoe.  Participants will also learn about Polynesian migration patterns, Hawaiian history and culture as it pertains to voyaging and the Kaneohe Bay area and weather forecasting. Participants will be able to apply both traditional Polynesian skills and modern scientific methods while engaging in sailing and environmental exploring activities.

Prerequisite:
  • Participant must pass a water safety test demonstrating the ability to swim a minimum of 500 yards using any strokes and tread water for 30 minutes in the open ocean.

Instructor: Leimomi Kekina Dierks
Class meets: Saturdays,  12:00 - 3:00 pm
Location: Windward CC, Imiloa 133, Kualoa Beach Park
Course fee: $212

FIT7010       2/12 - 3/19     6 mtgs.
FIT7010 4/8 - 5/13 6 mtgs.
Course flyer.

Rescue Watercraft Operator Training - NEW

Rescue Watercraft Operator Training:  Rescue Water Craft Operator Training emphasizes using the PWC for ocean safety operations. Students will be exposed to the PWC as an important tool for surface water rescue operations, including search and rescue techniques, multiple PWC operations, and ocean safety management practices for escorting, events, and professional lifeguarding scenarios. Upon successful completion of the course, the students receive a Certificate of Professional Development from WCC. It is valid for two years, at which time a refresher course is offered for participants who need re-certification.

Prerequisites:
  • Safe Boating In Hawaiian Waters or Equivalent Hawaii State NASBLA-approved course
  • WCC Recreational Thrill Craft Operator Safety Education
  • WCC Ocean Safety Educational Course (for High Surf Warning Endorsement)
  • WCC Ocean Safety Technician Training / equivalent (USLA Ocean Safety Trainee/Officer)
  • Participants must be at least 15 years of age.
  • Participants must successfully perform a 500-yard swim, tread water (legs only) for 2 minutes, and complete a beach & ocean skills drill: 100 yard beach run +100 yard ocean swim (not timed)
OAHU
Instructor:  Trevor Wilson, Terry Ahue, Ian MacDonald
Contact hours: 40
Meeting time: Monday, Wednesday, 8:30 am–4:30 pm
Location:  Windward CC, Kaneohe Bay
Cost:  $800*

FIT7111    11/7, 9, 11, 16 & 18  5 mtgs.

Power Watercraft Operator Training - NEW

This course provides students with hands-on skills training designed for safe power watercraft (PWC) operations in Hawaiian waters. Students practice operating a PWC in calm waters, driving with a rescue sled attached, riding with passengers, performing basic passenger pick-up techniques and maneuvering a trailer. Students will also learn about PWC preventative maintenance, safe operating practices, and risk management while operating in the near-shore and open ocean environment. Discussed are the history and development of power watercraft (PWC) as a recreational and commercial ocean vessel in Hawaiʻi. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive a Certificate of Professional Development from WCC. It is valid for two years, at which time a refresher course is offered for participants who need re-certification.

Prerequisites:
  • Participants must be at least 15 years of age.
  • Safe Boating In Hawaiian Waters or Equivalent Hawaii State NASBLA-approved course
  • WCC Recreational Thrill Craft Operator Safety Education Course
  • Participants must successfully perform a 500-yard swim (not timed), tread water (legs only) for 2 minutes, and successfully complete a beach/ocean skills drill comprising a 100-yard beach run +100-yard ocean swim.
OAHU
Instructor:  Trevor Wilson, Terry Ahue, Ian MacDonald
Contact hours: 48
Meeting time: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 8:30 am–4:30 pm
Location:  Windward CC, Kaneohe Bay
Cost:  $800*

FIT7110   10/10, 12, 17, 19 & 21    5 mtgs.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED PLEASE FILL OUT THE WAIT LIST FORM BELOW.
WAIT LIST/REQUEST MORE INFORMATION
If you have any questions or would like to be notified when the next course will be offered please fill out the contact form below.
Caucasian man wearing swim googles swimming underwater in a pool.

Red Cross Waterfront Lifeguard Training

This course will teach lifeguard candidates the skills and knowledge needed to prevent and respond to aquatic emergencies. The course content and activities prepare candidates to recognize and respond quickly and effectively to emergencies, and prevent drowning and injuries. The student will be introduced to a variety of environments, including pools, waterfronts, water parks, shallow water attractions and coastlines. Also covered are customary practices and lifeguard etiquette, environmental and cultural issues, commercial, and tourism aspects of lifeguarding in Hawaiian waters. This course provides participants an opportunity for Red Cross Lifeguard Certification, provided all requirements are met. Upon successful completion of the course, the Certificate of Professional Development is good for 2 years.

OAHU
Instructors:  Alexis Moon, Ian MacDonald & Glenn Pang
Contact hours: 16
Meeting time: Tuesday, Wednesday, 8:30 am–4:30 pm
Location:  Windward CC, Hale Kuhina 115, Pool TBD

FIT7103    TBD   2 mtgs.
For WAIT LIST information please call 235-7331.
Lifeguard performing in water rescue using a surfboard.

Ocean Safety Technician Training

The Ocean Safety Technician training course is intended for persons involved in ocean recreation activities and businesses in Hawaii who need to learn basic ocean safety management practices and ocean rescue skills. The curriculum includes Standard First Aid & CPR/AED certification, basic ocean rescue skills training and subject matter specific to aquatic recreation including snorkeling, sailing, paddling and surfing sports from the professional disciplines of epidemiology, human factors, marine science, sociology, law and culture.

The course will provide the participant with the skills and resource materials to develop a Risk Management Plan, which is a requirement of the Department of Education for Surf Club development, and is recommended for all commercial Ocean Recreation operations.

A Certificate of Professional Development as an Ocean Safety Technician states that the participant has met all the requirements of the course and has demonstrated competency in basic ocean rescue skills and ocean safety risk management skills used by Hawaii’s professional ocean safety practitioners at Hawaii’s beaches and near-shore waters. The Certificate also entitles the participant to serve as a State of Hawai’i, Department of Education Surf Coach. It is valid for two years, at which time a refresher course is offered for participants who need re-certification.

Prerequisites:
  • Participant must be 15 years of age and be able to complete a 500-yard swim in a pool prior to the start of the course
  • Participant must have valid First Aid and CPR certificates prior to receiving their Certificate of Professional Development as an Ocean Safety Technician from WCC
OAHU
Instructors:  John R.K. Clark & Patrick Durkin
Contact hours: 16
Class meets:  Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Location:  Windward CC, Hale Kuhina 115, Beach TBD

FIT8130   TBD  3 mtgs.
For WAIT LIST information please call (808) 235-7331.

Download course flyer.
A group of kids learning to surf by standing on surfboards on the beach. Waikiki beach and Diamond Head in the background.

Surfing Technician Training

This course provides participants with hands-on experiences in surfing sports. Some of the surfing sports that will be covered include bodysurfing, bodyboarding, stand-up paddle surfing, mat surfing, traditional and modern board surfing. Students will be given an introduction and description of surfing sports as a modern recreational activity, learn the history and development of surf sports in Hawaii and discuss safety issues with surf sports in Hawaiian ocean waters. Also covered are customary practices and sport etiquette, environmental and cultural issues, competitive sporting events and commercial and tourism aspects. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

Prerequisites:
  • Participant must pass a water safety test demonstrating the ability to swim a minimum of 500 yards using any strokes and tread water for 5 minutes in the open ocean.
  • Participant must also have valid First Aid and CPR certificates prior to receiving their Certificate of Professional Development as a Stand-Up Paddle Technician from Windward Community College.

Instructor: Ian Masterson
Contact hours: 16
Meeting time:  Thursday & Friday, 8:30 am–4:30 pm
Location: Windward CC, Hale Kuhina 112

FIT7102   TBD    2 mtgs.
Course flyer.
Men and women learning and practicing how to stand up paddle on boards on the beach.

Stand Up Paddle Technician Training


This course provides participants with hands-on experiences in stand-up paddleboard (SUP) water sports, especially as they apply to a Hawaiian ocean environment. Participants will be given an introduction and description of (SUP) water sports as a modern recreational activity, learn the history and development of SUP water sports in Hawaii and discuss safety issues with SUP water sports in Hawaiian ocean waters. Also covered are customary practices and sport etiquette, environmental and cultural issues, competitive sporting events and commercial and tourism aspects of SUP watersports.   

Prerequisites:
  • Participant must pass a water safety test demonstrating the ability to swim a minimum of 500 yards using any strokes and tread water for 5 minutes in the open ocean.
  • Participant must also have valid First Aid and CPR certificates prior to receiving their Certificate of Professional Development as a Stand-Up Paddle Technician from Windward Community College.
Instructor: Sam Pa‘e Jr.
Contact hours: 16
Meeting time:  Saturday & Sunday, 8:30 am–4:30 pm
Location: Windward CC, Hale Kuhina 115
Cost:  $199

FIT7101    TBD    2 mtgs.
Course flyer.
WAIT LIST/REQUEST MORE INFORMATION
If you have any questions or would like to be notified when the next course will be offered please fill out the contact form below or call the HOEA office at (808) 235-7331.

IN THE NEWS

West Hawaii Today
June 4, 2015

A Faster Response: Watercraft Expected to Make Rescues Easier, Quicker
Hawaii County Fire Department are wrapping up a five-week training using rescue watercraft (jet skis) to save lives.

Midweek
April 23, 2014

Teaching Others How to Stay Alive
Instructor Sam Pa'e Jr. shares his life changing in water experience.
Ian Masterson
Ian Masterson is an educator, an ocean recreation specialist, and a passionate Hawaiian cultural practitioner. Hailing from Ko‘olaupoko, this O‘ahu surfer has developed college courses in Surf Science, Culture, and Technology at the University of Hawaii’s Windward Community College and at Hawaii Pacific University, where he specializes in place-based, culturally oriented curriculum.
John Clark
John Clark is a former lifeguard and deputy fire chief of the Honolulu Fire Department, is the author of nine books on Hawaii’s beaches and surf spots published by the University of Hawaii Press. He is also the co-editor of The Hawaiian Journal of History, an annual publication of the Hawaiian Historical Society, and a columnist for Lawai’a, a fishing magazine. He has an AS in Fire Science from H.C.C., a BA in Hawaiian Studies from UH Manoa, and a Masters in Public Administration from UH Manoa.  
Glenn Pang
Glenn Pang has been a beach lifeguard, pool manager and water safety educator for the C&C of Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation. Pang has taught a variety of aquatics courses, and achieved the status of Red Cross Instructor Trainer for both water safety and lifeguarding. He is currently operating the Aquatics Facility for the Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center as their Aquatic Director. 
Patrick Durkin
Patrick Durkin is a former County of Kauai Lifeguard with 18 years of professional ocean lifeguarding experience. He is a US. Coast Guard licensed boat captain who has operated sailboats from 22 ft. double-hulled sailing canoes to 65 ft. snorkeling and sightseeing catamarans. He conducts ocean rescue training programs for surf instructors, boat crew, kayak guides and outfitters who require safety certifications for insurance companies and government agencies. Pat is a Red Cross Water Safety Instructor, and former USLA Ocean Lifeguard Instructor.
He is on the board of directors of the Kauai Lifeguard Association, and chairman of the Kauai Water Safety Task Force.
Leimomi Dierks
Leimomi K. Dierks   The ocean and canoes are Leimomi's passion and lifestyle. She is a Hokule'a crew member, has been sailing Hawaiian canoes since 1996, and paddling outrigger canoes since 1981.
 
Leimomi is an educator with the Polynesian Voyaging Society, teaches Polynesian voyaging at Windward Community College (WCC) and has served as WCC's Polynesian voyaging program assistant coordinator.  She is an active sailing member with the Hawaiian Sailing Canoe Association (HSCA) and serves on the board of directors.  She is also a member of Lanikai Canoe Club where she has held numerous leadership positions on the board of directors, and coached various age divisions, including head coach.
 
Leimomi also taught Hawaiian studies at Lanikai Elementary Public Charter School for grades JK-6, and was the program director for Hui Malama O Ke Kai, an after-school ocean recreation program in Waimanalo.
Terry Ahue
Terry Ahue is the founding president of Hawaiian Water Patrol, Hawaii’s premier water safety organization, providing water patrol for contests and events from Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational at Waimea Bay, to commercial film productions around the world since 1990. Ahue is also an active stuntman with the Screen Actors Guild, being featured on movies such as Along Came Polly, Blue Crush, Pearl Harbor, and Waterworld, among many others. He has served the City & County of Honolulu Ocean Safety Division as a trainer and head of Jet Ski Rescue Craft Operations for over 29 years. Ahue continues to train people locally and internationally through Hawaiian Water Patrol, and now, through Windward Community College.
Ian MacDonald
 Ian MacDonald is a Red Cross Lifeguard Instructor who has served as a USLA-certified Ocean Safety Officer for Kaneohe Marine Corps Base Headquarters since 1998. He also served as a fireman with the Federal Fire Department at Hickam Airforce Base from 2008-2012. As Lead Surface Water Rescue Specialist with Kū‘au Rescue, MacDonald has co-instructed Surface Water Rescue programs for the Federal Fire Rescue Responders at Andersen Air Force Base, Public Fire Department and Lifeguards in Guam, Water Safety Officers at Kaneohe Marine Corps Base Hawaii, and Federal Rescue personnel at the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai. Macdonald is also an avid waterman whose adept swimming skills have brought him an advantage in surfing, bodysurfing, and paddleboarding competitions, where he has emerged champion many times over.
Alexis Moon
Alexis Moon is a Red Cross Lifeguard Instructor with a long history with water safety skills training that is spurred by her passion for the water and her desire to teach others how to approach water activities with safety in mind. Her journey began in 1990 as a Swimmer, Narrator, & Trainer for Sea Life Park, then became Site Coordinator for Kama’aina Kids in Kailua until 2007. Moon went on to develop and instruct programs as Aquatic Manager for the pool facilities at Kokokahi YWCA. In 2012, she became an Underwater Egress Trainer at Kaneohe Marine Corps Base Headquarters, training military personnel in water safety techniques relating to military scenarios.
Melvin Puu
Melvin Pu‘u has 32 years of experience as an Ocean Safety Officer for the City and County of Honolulu, where he is a USLA-certified Lifeguard Instructor.  In 1991, Pu‘u and his partners started the PWC Rescue Operations for the city on the leeward coast, then expanded it’s service around the island. He is now the Lead Rescue Craft Training Officer for the City and County of Honolulu Ocean Safety Division and serves as Manager for Rescue Operations and Rescue Personnel for the city. He is also the President of the Hawaii Government Employees Association Unions (HGEA), Bargaining Unit 14 for the State of Hawaii, where he oversees contracts for the all of Hawaii’s Sheriff’s, Department of Land and Natural Resources Officers (DLNR), and City and County Lifeguards and Ocean Safety Officers in the state. His specialties are High Surf Rescues, Injury Prevention, and Ocean and Rescue Education, and he has educated people across the state through his work as co-founder with Hawaiian Water Patrol.
Trevor Wilson
Trevor B. Wilson has been with the Honolulu Fire Department 1994 to present. All but two of those years he was assigned to a station with a boat or PWC for response to emergencies in aquatic environments. Trevor was chosen by the late Jeffrey Barbieto to assist in training and development of the Rescue Water Craft program during its infant stages for the Honolulu Fire Department. An integral element of ocean rescues, Trevor has acquired an immense amount of experience and knowledge. Much of this is accredited to working and playing side by side with some of the best watermen in the world. Trevor is currently Chief of Operations and curriculum developer for Ku’au Rescue.  
  An Alumnus of the University of Hawaii system, and an ocean sports enthusiast raised in the Ko’olaupoko area in which he still resides, Trevor is an advocate for safety, prevention and conservation within our aquatic environments.   
Sam Pae Jr.
Sam Pa'e Jr. is an avid waterperson, surfer, swimmer, diver, canoe, stand-up paddler, and a member of Ku’au Rescue.  He has earned Instructor-level certifications for USPS, USCG AUX, National Safe Boating Council, and NASBLA.  Sam also has numerous certificates that includes boating safety, first aid, CPR, AED, and life guarding.  He has been teaching the certified Recreational Thrill Craft Operators Safety Education and Ocean Safety Education courses since 2005.