Lifeguard liability bills treading water

  • Hawaii County lifeguard Paul Tucker patrols the water on a rescue board at Hapuna Beach. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

  • Hawaii County lifeguard Garrett Nicolaisen warns beach-goers in the water at Hapuna Beach. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

  • Hawaii County Lifeguard Paul Tucker patrols the water on a rescue board at Hapuna Beach. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)
  • Hawaii County lifeguard Ben Fisher patrols Hapuna Beach on an ATV. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

  • Hawaii County Lifeguard Paul Tucker patrols the water on a rescue board at Hapuna Beach. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

HILO — While county lifeguards protect the public on local beaches, they have very little protection from lawsuits when someone is injured or drowns in the surf.