Big surf from Hector pounds Oahu's south shores, keeps lifeguards busy
Ocean Safety reported that as of 4:15 p.m., 29 people had been rescued off Ala Moana, and 63 rescues were made in waters off Waikiki.
Hurricane Hector continues to pass south of Hawaii, rolling in big surf and hazardous conditions.
The big swell generated by Hector kept lifeguards on Oahu's south shores busy on Thursday. As of 4:15 p.m., Ocean Safety reported that 29 people had been rescued off Ala Moana and 63 rescues were made in waters off Waikiki. Those rescues included a 16-year old girl in Waikiki who was playing in the surf when she was hit by a wave and experienced trouble breathing. She was transported to a nearby hospital in serious condition.
Two additional rescues were made off east Oahu at Sandy's Beach. In addition, more than 1200 preventative actions were also reported. 'Preventative actions' are warnings given to prevent people from getting into trouble. Lifeguards worked overtime to ensure beach goers safety on south shores.
"With Hurricane Hector, I knew there was going to be some waves out here. It was suppose to bring a swell," surfer Ryan Ohira said. "I live on the other side of the island and my grandma lives out here, so I slept over last night just so I can check out the waves. I was getting tossed around .. but it was good fun."
With the large swell, Ocean Safety urges only experienced watermen and women with knowledge of strong currents enter the ocean.
A high surf advisory is in effect for south facing shores of Kauai, Molokai, Lanai and Oahu until 6 a.m. on Friday. Surf along Oahu's south shores was expected to reach 8 to 12 feet on Thursday. Although, a National Weather Service alert reports surf will decrease overnight and then drop to 4 to 6 feet on Friday.
In addition to the big swell, the highest astronomical tides of the year-- King Tides-- rolled in causing some coastal flooding in Mapunpuna. Another King Tide event is expected to roll in just before 4 p.m. on Friday on Oahu's south shore.
The UH Sea Grant College Program is asking for the public's help in documenting the impacts from sea-level rise and other coastal hazards, by safely snapping a photo along the coast of the tides and submitting it to the Hawaii and Pacific Islands King Tides Project at http://pacificislandskingtides.org/.