Swimmers Warned To Avoid Waikiki Natatorium War Memorial

A recent inspection done by the city has revealed severe cracks and damage to the seawall of the Natatorium located in Waikiki Beach. The warning was announced due to the possibility that pieces of the badly damaged seawall could fall off and potentially injure swimmers. The advice is to simply avoid the structure all together, and the plan is to start work on Monday October 3. Workers will construct scaffolding around the perimeter of the wall and begin the process of removing cracked pieces of the wall, which will be done from outside of the wall. The pieces of damaged concrete will be freed with hand tools and then lowered to rafts and brought to shore. Work is expected to take about 5 days to complete and depends on tidal and wave conditions. Workers are scheduled to put up additional signage warning swimmers to stay away and to deter trespassers. The Waikiki Natatorium War Memorial was opened in 1927 and was a tribute to the 10,000 servicemen from Hawaii who served in World War I. It was a place for families to enjoy the beautiful ocean waters from the safety of an enclosed structure. Families took refuge from the dangerous ocean waters and it became a site where many locals learned to swim. The Friends of the Natatorium believe that, by allowing the Natatorium to come to the state it is currently in, the state of Hawaii and the city and county of Honolulu have “shamefully broke faith with and dishonored those World War I soldiers and sailors” for who the memorial was originally set up to honor. It’s not about people not being able to use the recreational area any more, or about the fact that it has fallen into disrepair, but the fact that the city and county, as well as the state, have dishonored the memorial and all of the soldiers that it stood to honor.

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