Kauai News

Multiple Ocean Rescues Tuesday in Po‘ipū; High Surf Advisory in Effect

Posted June 1, 2022, 12:24 PM HST

High surf conditions led to first responders conducting multiple ocean rescues earlier this week in Po‘ipū, and a high surf advisory remains in effect for south-facing shores.

Ocean Safety Bureau officials advise no swimming as high surf conditions continue, with the National Weather Service in Honolulu issuing the advisory until 6 a.m. Thursday, June 2.

“These hazardous ocean conditions can put you and our first responders at significant risk for severe injury or worse,” Kaua‘i Fire Department Chief Steven Goble said in a news release. “I am grateful to our first responders for their swift response in Tuesday’s Southshore rescues.”

At about 6 p.m. Tuesday, first responders were dispatched to a surf rescue at Po‘ipū Beach Park involving a 47-year-old male who suffered facial injuries and multiple body abrasions. American Medical Response personnel assessed the surfer while transporting him to Wilcox Medical Center in Līhuʻe for further treatment.

According to a preliminary report, first responders arrived on scene and discovered four people outside the surf break, attempting to swim to shore. Two of the people encountered a large wave that caused them to lose their boards. One of the surfers hit the reef and suffered injuries to his face and body.

Personnel with the Kōloa fire station, the Ocean Safety Bureau South Roving Ski Patrol and American Medical Response responded to the incident. Officials observed waves with 15-foot faces.

The second incident, involving an ocean rescue at the Waihohai surf break in Po‘ipū, was reported at about 7 p.m. Tuesday.

According to a preliminary report, firefighters were dispatched to the surf break after three swimmers were seen in distress. Two of the swimmers had made it safely to shore by the time first responders arrived on the scene, while one swimmer was in the water being assisted by a bystander. A firefighter entered the water and brought the swimmer safely to shore. All three swimmers declined medical treatment.

First responders with the Kōloa fire station and the Ocean Safety Bureau South Roving Ski Patrol responded to the incident.

“A long-period south swell will gradually diminish, but will continue to bring high surf to south-facing shores of all islands through tonight,” the NWS said in an alert message Wednesday.

The National Weather Service forecasts surf of 10-14 feet for this afternoon along south-facing shores, gradually diminishing tonight and Thursday. Moderate impacts can be expected, including strong breaking waves, shore break and strong longshore and rip currents, making swimming difficult and dangerous.

“Beachgoers, swimmers and surfers should heed all advice given by ocean safety officials and exercise caution,” an alert message from the NWS said.

For updated information about ocean and weather alerts, visit the NWS website. For information about Kaua‘i ocean conditions and ocean safety, speak to a county lifeguard at any lifeguard station, click here or call the Ocean Safety Bureau at 808-241-4984.

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