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Two visitors on Maui swept out to sea at Olivine pools

Two visitors on Maui swept out to sea at Olivine pools

Old Nov 18th, 2006, 06:31 PM
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Two visitors on Maui swept out to sea at Olivine pools

Here's a link to the Honolulu Advertiser story, with a map:

And the story:
KAHAKULOA, Maui Two visitors drowned yesterday after being swept off the rocks at a hazardous area known as Olivine Pools northwest of Kahakuloa.

Witnesses told authorities a wave knocked a man into the water at around 12:50 p.m. As the woman with him was screaming for him, she was pulled into the ocean. The man was floating face down when the first rescuers arrived, but the woman was seen treading water before she died, said Maui Fire Department Rescue Capt. Derrick Arruda.

He said the bodies of the man and woman, whose names were not released, were recovered in deep water about 50 to 75 feet from the rocky coastline.

A Fire Department helicopter dropped two rescuers into the sea and lowered a Billy Pugh net to pick up the man. One of the firefighters performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on him while they were airlifted to a grassy landing zone on the cliffs above the pools, Arruda said. Meanwhile, a county water safety rescue craft arrived from a West Maui beach, and the woman was put on its rescue sled. A water safety officer and the other firefighter conducted CPR on her before she was lifted in the net to the landing zone.

Arruda, who has helped rescue many people in the area, said the breathtaking scenery is very deceptive. "It's a very dangerous place. Its water rises and recedes quickly, so it can be really calm and all of a sudden a freak set comes in and if you're standing on the edge of the rocks, the waves will come up and grab you, and there's nothing you can do but swim out away from the shore," he said.

"The ocean there is pretty choppy, but it wasn't that rough (yesterday). When it's really rough, people don't go near the shoreline, but when it's like this, people get into trouble."

Visitors to the remote site must hike down a steep trail to get to a lava shelf. Some guidebooks recommend Olivine Pools as a "hidden" spot to visit, although public safety officials advise against it.

In April 2004, a 41-year-old California man and his 14-year-old daughter were swept into the sea at Olivine Pools. The girl survived but her father died.

Even as the bodies of the victims of yesterday's tragedy were being carried to an ambulance, tourists were pulling up farther down to the road at the trailhead to Olivine Pools. Matthew and Melissa Matz of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., who were hiking back up from the site, said they read about the pools in the best-selling "Maui Revealed" guidebook.

Looking down at the ocean swells crashing onto the rocks, Melissa Matz, 32, said, "It doesn't even look like it's that strong."

Her husband said it's not until you get down close to the pools that the potential danger becomes more evident.

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Old Nov 18th, 2006, 07:31 PM
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Oh Icuy, another tragic story! It makes me think of the fine gentleman from my city who died some months ago trying to safe the couple from Kansas who didn't understand the dangers of the ocean.
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Old Nov 18th, 2006, 08:17 PM
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This makes me sick to my stomach.

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Old Nov 18th, 2006, 08:22 PM
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I posted in the other post on the HI Revealed books that I've been to those pools. They looked dangerous to me, I gave my reservations and we left.
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Old Nov 19th, 2006, 05:28 AM
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Adding these from another thread

Author: Barbara5353
Date: 11/18/2006, 07:42 pm
According to the Maui News, a man and woman from California drowned yesterday in strong currents at the area guidebooks call Olivine Pools. "Maui Revealed", in particular, is often criticized for enticing tourists to areas that are unsafe and/or on private land.
A sobering reminder to use caution and common sense.


Author: sistahlou
Date: 11/18/2006, 08:59 pm
Truly heartbreaking!

Old Nov 19th, 2006, 09:08 AM
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This reminds me of the two adults who were swept off the rocks at Lumahai a couple of years ago. Another tragedy. The lovely and grief stricken locals responded and constructed a memorial made of rocks and shells that also serves as stark warning of the power of the sea. Perhaps another such memorial should be constructed at these pools?

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Old Nov 19th, 2006, 09:25 AM
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The potential dangers which lurk in our oceans and beaches cannot be stressed strongly enough -- and their will always be those who fail to heed the many, many warnings that are given.

Never EVER turn your back on the ocean.
When in doubt, don't go out.
Never swim at non-lifeguarded beaches.
Stay off all oceanfront rocks.
Stay away from all rivermouths.

From the kauaiexplorer.com beach safety website:
The beaches on Kaua`i are beautiful - but they can also be extremely dangerous. Kaua`i has the highest incidence of visitor drownings per capita in the State of Hawai`i, most of which are preventable. Precaution should always be taken at Kaua`i beaches, as ocean conditions can change rapidly, becoming extremely hazardous and potentially life-threatening.

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Old Nov 19th, 2006, 09:41 AM
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Common sense! People need to take responsibility for their actions -- you can't always blame a book. While the book may have made a lot more people aware of this site, it does warn people about the inherent dangers of the ocean, rocks etc constantly throughout the book.

Not that I am defending Maui Revealed, but from the recent edition [p.61] "Big waves could make it dangerous" and "And avoid getting too close to the unpredictable ocean, which could always send a large wave to pick you off" and "Sometimes, especially during the summer, it can get windy enough that you'll want to blow off this attraction(so to speak)"

Other comments on page 62 encourage visitors to act responsibily:
"Footing can be awkward and slippery;
"please be certain to bring out everything your bring in";
"it is easy to get sunburned in the placid pools, but we're worried that too much suntan lotion may harm the pools, try to refrain if you can while in the water;"
and referring to bringing back rocks/lava etc from Hawaii"we advise you to leave everything where you find it."

We used the books on Maui, BI and Oahu and really liked them and found them to be extremely helpful.

It is unfortunate that there 2 people died, but is the book really to blame?
All this IMHO

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Old Nov 19th, 2006, 09:50 AM
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What a great website auntie! Thanks for sharing.

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Old Nov 19th, 2006, 04:09 PM
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I also do not blame 'Maui Revealed'.

People have to be aware of the surroundings & dangers anywhere in Hawaii, especially the ocean.
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Old Nov 19th, 2006, 05:55 PM
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I also don't blame the books. People will still do stupid things, even when a dangerous situation is obviously clear.

Last month we stopped at a beach on the north shore of Kauai. It was rainy, windy, the ocean turbulent and the sand churning. There was also a NO SWIMMING sign posted on the beach. Of course there were two idiotic parents letting their two young girls run and splash in the water. There was also a lifeguard present who never said a word to the family.
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Old Nov 19th, 2006, 08:54 PM
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The books are obviously not to blame for the deaths, But they are to blame for people heading out there to have a good time. Unfortunately, after they've built it up as that morning's goal, and taken the long hike down, many people are then unwilling to use their good judgement and call it off when they get there and find it isn't exactly the tourist activity they hoped for.
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Old Nov 20th, 2006, 04:58 AM
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Perhaps if the books would also state the number of downings and the circumstances, then perhaps the dangers would be better explained and the warnings heeded.

we usually have one drowning per year. People insist on wading out to a sand bar that is exposed at low tide. When the tide changes, it comes in fast and cuts the bar off, wading back becomes impossible and few can swim against the fast moving current.

Signs are posted everywhere. Either the people can't read or just don't believe. It's very hard to emphasize the danger. A couple of years ago, a Hispainic man drowned. His wife sued the town because the warning signs weren't in Spanish.

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Old Nov 20th, 2006, 05:55 AM
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Just like trippinkpj, my husband and I read about the Olivine pools in Maui Revealed, and made it our "morning goal". But when we got there, I said no way. The steepness of the unmarked trail was enough to scare me.
I felt that the dangers were under-reported by Maui Revealed (which says danger is only during high winds or rought winter seas), but luckily we had our common sense as backup. I would use the book again, but I'd try to find a cross reference on the dangers first.
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Old Nov 20th, 2006, 06:58 AM
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The Olivine pools were one of the highlights of our visit earlier this year. You have to be careful with where you and the ocean are near the edges, but the small pools themselves are sheltered.
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Old Nov 20th, 2006, 10:30 AM
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Here is one suggestion for visitors: Look around when visiting places about which you are unsure. Do you see local kids playing there, or just tourists? If there are no local kids, chances are there is a good reason.
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Old Nov 20th, 2006, 11:07 AM
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Does anyone know where in California this couple was from?
Old Nov 20th, 2006, 04:25 PM
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Hey, here_today, it's good to see you in-putting again! I guess you've been sidetracked by a busy life?!
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Old Nov 21st, 2006, 08:53 AM
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We visited in February and the pools were completely washed out, the ocean was quite agitated with 10 foot crashing waves. However, because of this, the blowhole was working great and was interesting/fun (had a nice shower and cooled off).

When we visited in July, the ocean was pretty calm with occasional 1-2 foot waves, and the pools were pretty nice and a refreshing dip after the hike down. However, the blowhole looked like a moonscape and wasn't nearly as active -- rather dull -- if we hadn't been there in February we would've wondered what all the "hype" was about. But contrarily, if we hadn't gone in July we would never have known how nice the pools can be.

This once again outlined the winter/summer differences for us and how the time of year can dictate not only what you can do safely, but also on how you perceive the sites you visit.

You really have to think about what it is you're doing, or about to do. The ocean is NOT your friend, it's someone you impose yourself upon and may quite suddenly take a disliking to you.

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Old Nov 21st, 2006, 08:57 AM
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Here's a link to SFGATE.com which had a story today, so sad looks like they were newlyweds too:

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