With more rescues at China Walls, some locals also find themselves saving visitors

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 5:18 AM HST|Updated: Jul. 20, 2021 at 3:09 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The popular cliff jump at China Walls in East Oahu is once again the spot for rescues. Some locals looking to catch waves say these days, they’re also saving visitors.

Mason Nelson, 15, and 16-year-old Hunter Mamuad were boogie boarding Saturday when they noticed trouble.

“A visitor jumped in with jeans and shoes on and his head and arms and whole body went underwater. I could hear him scream for help,” said Nelson.

“He couldn’t move at all, we basically had to drag him the whole way in,” said Mamuad.

Honolulu Ocean Safety says eight more people needed help later that day.

“With the drastic increase in the amount of visitors and people looking to get out, what we’ve seen over last few years is a dramatic increase in people who have no clue in what they are about to jump into,” said Honolulu Ocean Safety Lt. Aka Tamashiro.

The number of rescues at China Walls has tripled since 2019.

Last week, a visitor was saved by a local man on a Jet Ski.

“I hear locals say ‘back up and be careful’ but most of them ignore you. The same happens at Sandy’s all the time,” said Chad Nelson.

The teens from East Oahu aren’t seeking attention. They want visitors to be aware of the dangerous rip currents and crashing surf — and to use common sense.

“Not to jump in if you don’t know how to swim,” said Mamuad.

“Sometimes it’s a waste of time for all the firefighters and paramedics. They might have something else more important,” said Nelson.

Another reason be vigilant: There are no lifeguards at China Walls, just Ocean Safety mobile responders who oversee the area from Hawaii Kai to the Kaneohe Marine Corps Base.

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