To Stop Drownings, Hawaii Wants ... Airlines to Help

Kauai has already suffered 11 drownings this year
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 26, 2013 1:31 PM CDT
This 2012 photo shows Queen's Bath on the island of Kauai.   (Anita Hofschneider)
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(Newser) – Drownings are the leading cause of death for visitors to Hawaii and have long been a problem in the state. But the numbers have recently spiked: In less than four months this year, the island of Kauai has suffered 11 drownings; that's already close to triple the four deaths seen on the island in all of 2012. And that has some state lawmakers proposing an unusual tactic: enlisting airlines to help.

Hawaii's state Senate is asking airlines to show a video on flights into Hawaii cautioning people about ocean safety. (One such video recently started playing on a loop in the baggage claim area at Kauai's Lihue Airport.) The proposal passed the state Senate this month but is no more than a non-binding statement. It's not clear whether airlines would participate, and even some state lawmakers worry the videos could frighten tourists away. "You don't want to be on a plane and see people getting eaten by sharks," says Rep. Tom Brower. (Read more Hawaii stories.)

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