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Two whales in distress off Kailua, Lanikai; swimming restricted

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 5:52 p.m. HST, Jul 31, 2014

Two adult false killer whales appear to be in distress, swimming in circles between Flat Island and the shore in waters off Kailua beach and Lanikai beach.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources Thursday said the whales have created a potential safety hazard, asking the public not to swim in the area through Friday.

False killer whales weigh between 3,000 to 4,000 pounds each, and the two in distress may attract predators such as sharks, DLNR, NOAA and county ocean safety officials said. The whales may beach themselves or go back out to open 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. 

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