KAILUA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Update:
The Department of Land and Natural Resources has lifted a public safety hazard warning for waters of Kailua bay, following the removal of the carcass of the melon-headed whale from 300 yards off the boat ramp toward Flat island.
"DLNR appreciates the great cooperation with NOAA and Honolulu Ocean Safety lifeguards to monitor nearshore Kailua waters since yesterday afternoon and this morning as well. Fortunately, no sharks were observed today," said William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR chairperson.
"We appreciate the patience and understanding of our ocean community to observe this safety warning," Aila said. "We encourage anyone swimming and conducting any ocean activities to exercise continued caution."
The whale died this morning. An 8 ft long adult or sub-adult melon-headed whale weighing between 500 to 700 pounds was taken to Hawaii Pacific University to investigate the cause of death.
The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is advising the public of a potential safety hazard tonight and through tomorrow in waters off Kailua beach to Lanikai beach, due to the presence of one melon-headed-whale that has been swimming in circles between Flat Island and the shore.
DLNR, NOAA and County Ocean Safety personnel are reminding people not to swim in these waters because the distressed marine mammal, which weigh an average of 400-500 pounds, may attract large predators inshore (such as sharks). It is not known if the animal will beach itself or go back out into the ocean.
"We urge swimmers, fishers, divers, kayakers, jetskiers, windsurf and other ocean users to stay out of these windward waters through Friday evening, as we continue to closely monitor the whales' condition," said William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR chairperson. "We will update the public when there is new information," he said.