HONOLULU (KHON2) — Lifeguards made 103 rescues at Oahu beaches on Saturday according to Honolulu Ocean Safety, 33 of them were on the south shore.
Officials said more swells down south will mean more emergency responses as Hawaii gets further into the summer.
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“Coupled with the fact that we have a lot of visitors here, we know there’s a lot of people here. All you got to do is roll through Waikiki and I mean, there’s a line everywhere right now and our beach parks are full,” said John Titchen, Honolulu Ocean Safety chief.
The swell on Saturday was not a record-breaker; Wave heights were four to five feet with some bigger sets, but the size did keep some beachgoers out of the water.
“It’s pretty big out there, I mean I wouldn’t advise going out there unless you kind of knew what you’re doing,” Haliewa resident Christian Habberstad said. “I don’t know, as long as you like aren’t wiping out and just surfing and you surf well, it’s fun. It’s a good time.”
Ocean Safety said to check on high tides before hitting the beach, they tend to peak in the afternoon and can cause powerful rip currents.
“Smartest thing to do is just sort of, you know, float with it and recognize that you’re a little bit farther from shore,” Titchen said, “and if you need help, put your hand up and ask for help.”
KHON2 caught longtime surfer Liam McNamara as he was getting out of the water, he said he lives for days like these.
“It’s like riding a bike when you get on the wave and get up and get going, you know, you always enjoy that feeling. Getting in the barrel, time stands still, they say.”Liam McNamara, surfer
“Don’t go to a location, go to a beach and just paddle out,” McNamara said. “Take a look, watch it for a little while, check the conditions, see how everybody’s doing.”
Ocean Safety had the same tune, especially with a swell that could bring advisory-level waves on Tuesday, May 31.
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“There’s a lot of people around, a lot of people in town and there’s a lot of residents out and about. So we’re just asking people to be smart and exercise caution,” Titchen said.