The ocean is a tricky place. People are not born knowing how to survive in the ocean. They are taught. Many people growing up around the ocean may take for granted the sum total of experiences that have taught them ocean safety.
Millions of visitors rush headlong into the ocean, with very little knowledge of the risks or dangers. People will enter the ocean with or without instruction, blissfully unaware that they could be making bad choices, and putting themselves and others at risk.
The County of Maui has a huge liability exposure with millions of untrained and unsupervised people entering the ocean annually.
County lifeguards have a limited scope of operation, with a selected number of beach parks patrolled, and limited hours of operation.
Ideally lifeguards should be posted at every County beach park from sunrise to sunset. However this would be expensive. In the meantime experienced and trained local professional watersports instructors are watching over their patrons and the public as well. Any move by the County to reduce the presence of professional watersports instructors, or
restrict the safe distribution of commercial operations would diminish the overall level of safety of the ocean using public.
To reproduce the knowledge-base of our local professional watersports instructors with professional life guarding services would cost the County millions of dollars annually. Even, perhaps more than 5 million dollars each year, in addition to the $4.3 million already budgeted for County lifeguard operations.