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Ocean Safety

Kauai Kid

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The first week we were on Kauai (10-17 Oct) four people died in the Pacific. 3 on one day, and the 4th the next day. Kauai is going for a record number of ocean deaths this year. I believe 17 is the record and they are at 15 and counting.:eek:

As I recall 3 were killed at Queens Bath and the 4th down by Kaapa somewhere. Red flags flying all over the place and the smart locals were having a ball in the Kieki (baby) pool area.

Last December there were 30 foot waves with some 50 footers on the north shore. We watched people walk right along the shore break. A local Hawaiian said they are putting their lives on the line--sometimes the big waves will wash over the parking lot where we are standing. She also said the current from the stream at the edge of the beach would take even the strongest swimmers out about 600 feet.

The sharks call the area Haole pupu's point.

For Heaven's sake be careful. Your resort isn't going to warn you of the danger of the winter surf and neither is the Kauai County Government.

Come home alive and not in a box,


Sterling
 
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Poobah

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Sterling,

Right on. I grew up near the ocean and I have all the respect in the world for the ocean. People who are not familiar with the ocean have no concept of the power of an ocean breaker. It doesn't take a very big one to knock you flat. The energy in the 20-30 foot swells and rogue waves that hit the north side must be "off the charts" so to speak.

Two years ago we stopped in at Spouting Horn and there was a guy and his two sons (age ~4 and ~6) had gone through the fence and were walking down on the lava outcropping that surrounds the blow hole. Their access was right by the sign that says "Danger. Do not go beyond this point!". We were not the only ones that were watching in disbelief. They turned their backs in the ocean, waves were washing over areas where they had walked. They even walked to edge of the outcrop!. We found his wife, who had a baby in a sling across her chest, and suggested that she yell at her husband to get to safety. She said, in a very meek voice, that it was the husband and he could do whatever he wanted with the children. Nancy looked at her and told her that they were her children too and they could be killed down there. That got her attention, but she did nothing. By the way she was dressed it was clear that they must belong to one of those groups where the man is numero uno and the women are barefoot and pregnant.:wall:

As we were leaving, I had my phone out to call 911 to get the police out there, but someone beat me to it. There was a squad turning in just as we pulled out of the parking lot. :clap:

We went down to the Queens Bath Tub once in August. I was a nervous wreck by the time I got out of there. I was constantly watching the swells and waves. Never going back.

Cheers,

Paul
 

DeniseM

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I saw the same thing this summer - a man with a video camera walked far out to the edge of a rocky out-cropping to take pictures of the surfers - the surf was high and wave were crashing hard against the rocks. A few minutes later a woman with a young child saw him and she and her daughter started walking out there, too. I stopped her and asked her if she knew that if a wave broke over the top of the rocks, that they would be knocked into the ocean. She looked at me very strangely, but she did turn around and go back. You see it every day in Hawaii.

I also saw a local surfer bring in an overweight middle-aged tourist who was trying to surf with the locals. The guy had obviously never been on a surf board before, but he paddled right out to the big waves and promptly got pounded. He came up looking weak and dazed and luckily a local brought him in.

One thing that I find surprising is the number of senior citizens who drown in Hawaii. Why would you go in the ocean at all, if you weren't physically fit?

Here is an interesting quote:

Dr. Monty Downs, an emergency room doctor on Kauai, has done some analysis of these numbers. He writes: “Let’s assume, for example, that New York City has 10 million people. If they drowned at the rate of 1.25 per 100,000 (our national average), there would be 125 drownings there per year. If they drowned at Kauai’s rate, there would be 1,400 drownings there per year—that number would definitely cause a stir in public health circles.”
 
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hibbeln

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One 4th of July at Big Beach on Maui we watched 4 children between the ages of about 3 & 8 almost drown. They were playing right at the water's edge and parents were no where to be seen. They were dark-skinned, dark-haired, and I ASSUMED that they were Hawaiian and their parents were nearby watching and knew what they were doing. Of course, when you assume.....! We were sitting further up the beach with OUR kids because the waves that were rolling in that day probably would have killed me. After about 20 minutes of watching a wave, a local man suddenly came pelting across the beach right in front of us, a look on his face I will never forget. He had also been watching the kids, and saw a wave come up, crash over them and pull them out. The kids were NO WHERE to be seen. NO WHERE! That dad and several local teens (surfers & boogie boarders) literally risked their own lives to search the ocean bottom and drag the kids up, then it took them nearly 10 minutes to get them back onto the beach because of the huge waves. Waves crashed over them over and over and over. I could not believe those kids survived, and was amazed the rescuers weren't killed also. They were darn lucky there were strong locals around, because while there were lots of other folks like us on the beach, we had not a chance in the world of saving those kids. None.

Turns out they were Mexican, with single mothers that worked in the hotel industry on Maui. Neither the mothers OR the little kids could swim, and the mothers weren't watching the kids. Once the kids were revived, the locals and beach police ate those mothers alive!
 

pianodinosaur

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There is nothing safe about the ocean. There is nothing safe about a swimming pool. Even a whale can drown. We have just had some very good examples of what waves can do on the Texas Gulf Coast courtesy of Hurricane Ike.
 

Liz Wolf-Spada

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I spent a lot of time in the ocean around San Diego when I was a kid and even the big breakers, while pounding me into the ground while body surfing, didn't scare me the way the ocean in Hawaii does. I love to swim, I love the ocean, but the ocean in Hawaii can seem deceptively tranquil and then BOOM! a wave, an undertow, a riptide....
Liz
 

DaveNV

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I know this thread is about ocean stuff, but you can see the same kind of brainless behavior every day at Yellowstone Park. People presume that since the animals don't run away, they must be tame. How many idiot tourists are hurt or killed while trying to get a picture of their child with a two-ton bison in a bad mood that can run thirty miles an hour? (We were in a car driving through Mammoth Hot Springs area once, when we were charged by a bull elk in full rut. If we hadn't been able to "put the pedal to the metal" right then, he would likely have run his antlers right into the side of our car.)

Where tourists are concerned, what is the old phrase? "Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups." :)

Dave
 

Kauai Kid

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Right on: The most thrilling moments we saw last year at Yellowstone was the 5 year old running TOWARD the baby bear so she could pet it and the parents filming the scene. Fortunately, the cub ran away from the kid.

People seem to think they were at Disneyland. As we say in Texas, parents dumber than dirt.

Sterling
 
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