Recent tourist drownings in Hawaii

Oct 27th, 2005, 06:34 AM
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Recent tourist drownings in Hawaii

Two tourists drowned within a few days of each other and it's only October. One just a 19-year-old on a business trip, and the other left a woman on a vacation for her 20th anniversary a widow. BE CAREFUL EVERYONE!!!
MerryTravel is offline  
Oct 27th, 2005, 06:39 AM
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How sad. Read and heed the warning signs that are posted! They are there for a reason.

iamq is offline  
Oct 27th, 2005, 06:58 AM
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Our rule - NEVER turn your back on the ocean and don't go in to 'play in the waves' alone....
cmeyer54 is offline  
Oct 27th, 2005, 07:02 AM
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Please see this from a few days ago:
kamahinaohoku is offline  
Oct 27th, 2005, 07:30 AM
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Thanks for linking to that kamahinaohoku. I did a search to see if this had been posted and didn't find anything.
MerryTravel is offline  
Oct 27th, 2005, 07:39 AM
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You're welcome, MerryTravel.
kamahinaohoku is offline  
Oct 27th, 2005, 08:12 AM
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Growing up in San Diego, my cousins told me never trust or turn your back on the ocean.

Rogue waves are the worst.

I think the problem with Hawaii is some people really DO think it's a Garden of Eden and don't have to be as careful as they are while back home in their own rivers, lakes, canyons, snow etc....

Kal is offline  
Oct 27th, 2005, 08:53 AM
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About 20 years ago I went to Hawaii and I almost drowned. I was swimming somewhere along the north shore of Oahu. At first the waves weren't too big, just 2 or 3 feet. But suddenly they started getting a lot bigger. I decided to get out of the water, so I turned toward the shore, with my back to the water. Suddenly I heard a loud roar, I looked back, and a huge wave was coming at me. The wave slapped me face down into the sand, slid me up the shoreline, then the undertow sucked me back out. I could feel sand going into my nose and every place imaginable that you don't want sand, if you know what I mean. I tried to get up but a second wave hit me and that time I tumbled around like a beach ball.

Finally I felt someone grab my wrists and drag me to safety. It was a bystander on shore. Several people came around to see if I was OK. I wasn't badly hurt, just very shaken, and I think I broke my tailbone because it was really sore for the next month.

I have learned about turning my back to the sea, and I advise everyone else to beware of doing that.
P_M is offline  
Oct 27th, 2005, 09:10 AM
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P_M...scary experience and one you won't ever forget. My husband had a similar one in Maui--only hit once but once was bad enough. I was a lifeguard and swim instructor in college--am 100% comfortable in the water, but those waves were serious waves and scared me! We had a black tie dinner that night. He looked real nice with black tie and nose devoid of skin from bridge to tip, but it could have been far worse!!
OO is offline  
Oct 27th, 2005, 10:57 AM
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I had a similiarly scary experiece playing in the ocean in Maui 2 yrs ago - north of Kaanapali - it wasn't that the waves were so HUGE, but the current was very very strong, it took every ounce of energy I could muster to get myself out of the ocean - regardless of if I had my front or back to the waves. I was thrown around & slammed under water - I could've easily broken my neck. Yes -be careful!
julesj66 is offline  
Oct 27th, 2005, 11:18 AM
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Ditto. My wife still has some scars from being thrown/washed into rocks on the shore while we snorkeled (in what was at first fairly calm bay) in Kauai. It can happen fast and if you are not prepared you can be in trouble. Pay attention to what is happening. Read the hints that are in the visitor guides and heed the signs.
Curt is offline  
Oct 27th, 2005, 04:14 PM
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It does not need to be Hawaii either. The beaches along the southern California coast are not feared or respected nearly as much as they ought to be. As a result, every years, there are dozens of drownings and hundreds of injuries that could mostly be avoided by following the advice in this post.
dwooddon is offline  
Oct 28th, 2005, 08:32 AM
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My ocean common sense rules

1. Never turn your back on the ocean
2. If no one else is in the water then stay out. Find the locals and don't be more adventurous than them.
3. Each time you venture a little further out, come back in to be sure you'll be able to make it. As you go out pay attention to the undertoe.
4. Go back in once you *begin* to get tired
5. If a wave crashes in front of you then dive under it
6. Stay away from surfers and boogie boarders (unless you are surfing or boogie boarding)

Any others ? I know there is some way to watch for rip currents but don't know how to describe it.

alanwar is offline  
Oct 28th, 2005, 08:51 AM
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It is really sad, I think we all have such good times on vacation sometimes caution is thrown to the wind by accident. There have been times when I accidentally walk out on the street without looking, something I never would do at home. This post is a good reminder of always staying on guard when traveling.
travelinwifey is offline  
Oct 28th, 2005, 09:05 AM
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Similar experience to some of the others:
I was playing in the ocean on Maui. The water was no more than waist-deep. Suddenly, a bunch of BIG waves started rolling in. I tried to get out but I was not fast enough. One caught me and slammed me down hard on one knee. Then the undertow caught me and proceeded to drag me out. Luckily my husband and another man grabbed me and dragged me ashore. The result - sand in many private places and I could barely hobble on my swollen knee for the next couple of days. I was being cautious. After that I became SUPER careful and at the very first sign of any change in wave action, I headed in to shore. We also tried to stick to only those beaches that are reef protected or otherwise protected.
As others have said:
1. Never, ever turn your back on the ocean
2. If no-one else is swimming there, take the hint - neither should you!
3. Take heed of ALL signs.
4. Never swim where there are surfers and serious boogie boarders - they are LOOKING for big waves.
5. If the waves seem to be getting bigger, get out of the water immediately
6. The safest beaches are the ones where local people are allowing their small children to swim
semiramis is offline  
Oct 28th, 2005, 09:36 AM
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dwooden,in S. California tragic accidents happen more because of rip currents than big waves.
Barbara is online now  
Oct 30th, 2005, 08:31 AM
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Unfortunately MerryTraveler, such things occur too often in spite of the many warnings and discussions. See a post from last years topic "Swept off rocks drownings Hawaii":
DB is offline  
Oct 30th, 2005, 09:38 AM
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Barbara - I agree. If you re-read my post, I don't think you'll find big waves mentioned. I also said "mostly avoided" because as far as I know, no one on this thread has dealt with getting out of rip tides or undertows. I'm not able to provide that advice because I had to deal with the aftermath, not prevention.
dwooddon is offline  
Oct 30th, 2005, 09:56 AM
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Thanks for the reminder of that thread about the drownings at Lumahai. I was there again this summer and the memorial the locals set up just before you get to the beach is still there and being maintained. People were stopping and looking at it. I wonder what they were thinking. Many of them were seen walking on the very same rocks a few minutes later. Go figure...

iamq is offline  
Nov 6th, 2005, 06:34 PM
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We were there last year when the people were swept off the rocks at Lumahai. We were sitting out at Haena Beach when the sirens went off. It was a beautiful day, you would never expect such violent waves. Tourists should definitely be aware that the danger is present at all times.

Just got back from Kauai last week. We were there a week after the latest drowning at Queen's Bath. New warnings had already been posted at the site.

Here's a link to the photos of the memorial at Lumahai. You see this as soon as you walk down the path from the road.

Also photos of the warning that has been erected at the bottom of the path to Queen's Bath with a copy of the newspaper clipping of the drowning.
vinolover is offline  

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