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Waves swamp 10 canoes before start of Molokai-Oahu race

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 01:38 a.m. HST, Sep 24, 2012

Large waves in Haleolono Harbor Sunday morning swamped 10 canoes and sent a Kailua woman to the hospital before the start of the Women's Molokai to Oahu canoe race, Maui County officials said.

The woman, from the Kailua Canoe Club, complained of pain to her shoulder and ribs and was taken to Molokai General Hospital, officials said. Crews rescued a total of 30 people from the harbor, and no other injuries were reported. Of the 10 canoes, officials said nine went on to start the race. One was damaged and had to be towed back to shore by event boats.

A call came in around 7:45 a.m. reporting that five canoes were swamped in the harbor, but that number was increased to 10 canoes when rescue crews arrived at 8:38 a.m. 

Six firefighters and two personal watercraft from the Hoolehua and Kaunakakai fire stations assisted in the rescue.

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Tony96822 wrote:
I saw the pictures and that was big by any standard for a race. That northwest swell completely went around the corner of Molokai and thank the powers above, nothing very serious happened.
on September 23,2012 | 05:23PM
iwanaknow wrote:
So..........it took almost an hour to respond? ya I know, limited personnel power.
on September 23,2012 | 05:42PM
aunty wrote:
obviously you don't know...it is a long dangerous dirt road to that location that is a long way from the nearest station. considering the conditions and the large number of boats/people in the area, it was a group effort that ended well. Lessons learned, next race will be better prepared. Agree with Tony above, thank the powers that be and all those who were there.
on September 23,2012 | 06:18PM
Usagi336 wrote:
Yes Aunty lesson learned. Let's see how the men paddlers' handle it should conditions be the same in a couple of weeks. I think that the Fire Dept. should have someone stationed there at Lono regardless of conditions during race day.
on September 24,2012 | 09:58AM
hanabatadayz wrote:
whoever was the race organizer should be fired..that was crazy..waves were huge
on September 23,2012 | 08:54PM
FLIPTOP2 wrote:
Do the freakin' organizers pay any attention to the news? All about money - betcha!
on September 23,2012 | 10:04PM
Dragonman wrote:
I was not there but I saw photos on the news of canoes fighting the waves as they fought to get out to the starting line. Looked scary to me. The person in charge defended not delaying the race until conditions improved saying the individual crews had the option to back out of the race. Tough call all around, most of the crews came from off island so you know they don't want to postpone race, on the other hand its a safety issue. Good news only one paddler injured. Bad news, it appeared to me via the photos that it could have been a lot worse. Maybe the decision to start race could be taken out of the hands of the race director , ( take the pressure off an individual ) and given to a small group of appointed paddlers. Something to think about.
on September 24,2012 | 05:29AM
firewizard wrote:
These socalled water people, especially their coaches, forgot rule number one. Respect the ocean.
on September 24,2012 | 05:57AM
loquaciousone wrote:
Maybe they should hold these events in a swimming pool.
on September 24,2012 | 09:01AM
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