Deadly swell closes beaches from Kauai to the Big Island - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Deadly swell closes beaches from Kauai to the Big Island

Warning level surf shut down several beaches along the north and west-facing shores of several islands Saturday.

Big and sloppy waves crashed into the rocks at Shark's Cove on Oahu's North Shore, where yellow tape kept people out of the water and away from the shoreline. Visitors were cautioned to keep a safe distance.

"Although we are not enforcement people, we like to support the lifeguards, and we will recommend that today is not a day to go in the water," said John Cutting of the group Malama Pupukea-Waimea. Group members had an informational tent set up at Shark's Cove, and were talking to visitors about the Pupukea Marine Life Conservation District -- and the big waves.

"The surf is large, it's unruly, and wind is blowing  from the ocean to the land, making it confused, chaotic, not really user-friendly for swimmers, surfers or anybody," said Ocean Safety Capt. John Hoogsteden.

On Kauai, the Fire Department's Ocean Bureau closed beaches at Kee, Haena and Pine Trees, and allowed only limited swimming at Hanalei Pier. Big waves yesterday swept two men, 46-year-old Adam Griffiths and 47-year-old Brian Baker, out to sea. Both men were visitors from San Francisco.

On the Big Island, officials closed Kahaluu and Laaloa Beach Parks for another day Sunday.

On Oahu, the Emergency Services Division reported that as of late Saturday afternoon, Ocean Safety lifeguards had performed one rescue and had taken 1,090 preventative actions on the North Shore. The rescue involved a man in his 50s who was rescued after getting trouble near the shoreline at Waimea Bay. He was transported to the hospital in serious condition.

There were four rescues and 1,725 preventative actions on west shore beaches. Authorities also reported that a man who was rescued Friday from waters off Makaha Beach had died. He was identified as 40-year-old Eassie Miller of Waianae.

A High Surf Warning has been extended for the north and west facing shores of Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai and Maui and the west shores of the Big Island until 6 p.m. Sunday.

Related story: Rescue crews recover one of two bodies off Kauai Beach

Related story: Man dies after nearly drowning at Makaha Beach

Related story: Hapuna Beach closed due to high surf


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