A California man in his 40s and his 6-year-old daughter died today after they were pulled from the water during windy and rough conditions at Makapuu Tide Pools, authorities said.
The incident happened at about 11:20 a.m. when a wave knocked the girl into the water and the girl’s father apparently went in to save her, said Shayne Enright, spokeswoman for the city’s Department of Emergency Services.
Lifeguards on personal watercraft, responding to a report of two people in distress, found the man unresponsive in the water and brought him to Sandy Beach, where lifeguards on shore began CPR. The lifeguards on the watercraft went back for the girl, who was found unresponsive, and also brought her to Sandy Beach.
Enright said lifeguards performed CPR on both and rode with paramedics to the hospital to assist with CPR. The patients were taken to the hospital in critical condition, and police said they later died. Enright said the family consisted of the father and his three daughters. The youngest was 6 and the oldest was about 12.
“The conditions were very rough,” Enright said. “It was very windy.”
Enright warned about the hazards of the tidepools and said surf in the area was 4 to 8 feet Saturday.
The tidepools are formed from pockets of lava rock below the Makapuu Point Lighthouse trail. Photos online show high surf crashing into the rocks, sending whitewash over the area.
In March last year, two people, including a 12-year-old girl, had to be rescued in separate incidents after they were injured by waves at the tide pools.
Surf was elevated in the Makapuu area Saturday morning at 4 to 7 feet, but a high-surf advisory was not in effect, said National Weather Serviceforecaster Tom Birchard. The weather service issues high-surf advisories for surf above 8 feet.
“Definitely larger than normal out there and longer periods than normal,” he said, adding that it doesn’t take much to get into trouble in the ocean, especially near a cliff face such as the tidepools.