WAIKIKI, Hawaii (KHON2) — A high surf advisory is in effect for all of Hawaii’s south shores.
Beachgoers are asked to heed warnings from lifeguards and exercise caution as over 175 rescues were needed on Wednesday, May 4.
On the go with KHON 2GO, KHON’s morning podcast, every morning at 8
Honolulu Ocean Safety said they made over 300 rescues on Tuesday, May 3 and lifeguards still had their work cut out for them on Wednesday.
“You’re going to surf Queen’s, you can see this swell it’s so big. It’s like, ‘Where is Queens?’ So experienced or non-experienced, people will come out to a spot they usually frequent, but because this swell is so unique, it’s not breaking in the same spots,” said Ocean Safety District 1 Lt. Dennis Coglietta.
Emergency Medical Services said a 35-year-old man was brought to the hospital in serious condition after being swept off the rocks at Sharks Cove and hitting his head.
Coglietta said large surf can attract those who should not be in the water — regardless of how experienced the surfer thinks they are.
“It’s just that today, when you have this much energy, it’s kind of hard to find that dedicated spot,” Coglietta said, “and you get that like washing machine effect and you can get into trouble quick.”
Officials said there were more than 175 rescues Wednesday on Oahu’s south shore, along with 1,300 warnings. Longtime surfer Harry Oneha was over at Magic Island and said he has seen bigger waves, but getting to and from them can be challenging.
“The conditions over here are a little bit tricky, especially to paddle in and paddle out,” Oneha said. “You have to jump off the rocks and when you come in, you have to come into the rock. So, a lot of times it’s a little tricky.”
KHON2 asked Oneha if he thought tourists should paddle out from Magic Island.
“No. No, don’t go out, definitely don’t go out, go to Waikiki, someplace safer, especially where the lifeguards can see you,” Oneha said. “All these rock walls, these jetties are blocking the view, so you’re at the mercy of the lifeguard just passing by.”
Checking with lifeguards before paddling out never hurts, no matter where you are from.
Check out more news from around Hawaii
“If in doubt, don’t go out,” Coglietta said. “Watch the children, always check in with us, check the weather and be as safe as you can! We just want to make sure the children are safe and that everyone goes home safely, you know, so they can surf another day.”