EAST HONOLULU, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
?Lifeguards are usually the ones to the rescue. But on Friday afternoon around 3:00 p.m. at Hanauma Bay, the tables were turned.
A freak accident sent a 26-year-old lifeguard to the hospital that day and closed the beach for several hours on Sunday.
"We got up really early this morning and headed over here. We got here I'd say about 8 o'clock and they said it was all closed because they were trimming coconut trees," said a visitor from Texas.
In a news release, the city said it was emergency tree work to repair damage from Hurricane Ana.
"Hurricane Ana was a little bit kinder to us than we thought it would be but it was still pretty gusty and we were concerned that things were shaken loose," Hanauma Bay recreation specialist Martha McDaniel said.
Hawaii News Now later found out a coconut had fallen on a lifeguard, sending him to the hospital in serious condition with a cut on his head.
"That's a one in a million chance of that happening," said New York visitor Mike Calkins.
"I've held a coconut before but I wouldn't want to get hit in the head with one," he said.
The beach normally opens at 6:00 a.m. Crews started cutting at sunrise and a long line of people was wrapped around the parking lot right before 10:00 a.m.
Some beach goers were a little shaken up hearing about the close call with the lifeguard while others didn't seem to care.
"It's definitely dangerous. I mean I don't wanna lay under a coconut tree now," said Stine Tande, visitor from Norway.
"I don't think we're in danger. They came out here and took care of the problem and we didn't think anything of it," said the visitor from Texas.
The City and County of Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation issued this statement:
Trees at Hanauma Bay are regularly trimmed every six months and they were last trimmed five months ago. DPR expedited the normal trimming schedule as a result of Friday's incident.
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