More than 400 people were rescued Wednesday during the annual Independence Day “floatilla” off Waikiki, but no one required medical treatment, according to a city emergency services spokeswoman.
A year ago more than 20 people – many of them drunk and in their teens or 20s – needed medical treatment, including 10 who were seriously injured and transported to hospitals. Hundreds of revelers off Waikiki had to be brought to shore.
Honolulu Emergency Services Department spokeswoman Shayne Enright said this year’s event was quieter. As of about 6:30 p.m., 450 people needed assistance getting to shore, but none required emergency medical services, according to Enright.
There also were no reports of arrests.
A lifeguard who has worked the event the past four years said this year’s crowd was a lot smaller than last year’s and much better behaved. “They were a lot mellower,” said the lifeguard, who would only give his name as John K.
Authorities attributed the “tame” celebration partly to a large presence of personnel from various agencies, including the state Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Honolulu Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services Division.
The floatilla crowd was estimated to be about 500 to 600 people, likely half as many as in 2016 and 2017, according to the Department of Land and Natural Resources.