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Hurricane Hector’s swell keeps Honolulu lifeguards busy

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    In the aftermath of Hurricane Hector, Sandy Beach saw choppy surf, gray skies and occasional light rain this morning.

High surf generated by Hurricane Hector kept Oahu lifeguards busy today, especially on southern shores.

According to the Honolulu Emergency Services Department, lifeguards rescued 94 people and recorded 1,200 “preventative actions” by this afternoon. A preventative action is a warning given to prevent someone from getting into trouble, officials said.

The rescues included a 16-year old girl in Waikiki who was playing in the surf when she was hit by a wave and experienced trouble breathing after swallowing water, Emergency Services officials said. EMS paramedics responded and took over treatment from the lifeguards, then transported the girl to a hospital in serious condition.

Of the total rescues, 63 were in Waikiki, 29 at Ala Moana Beach Park, and two at Sandy Beach, officials said.

The busy day comes after Hurricane Hector passed hundreds of miles south of the islands Wednesday and Thursday.

National Weather Service forecasters issued a high surf advisory this morning for the south-facing shores of Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai and Maui, until 6 a.m. Friday due to the swell brought on by Hector.

The swell was expected to peak today, reaching 8 to 12 feet in affected areas, then decrease Friday, as Hector continues traveling west.

In addition to strong, breaking waves, weather officials warned of strong shore breaks and currents, making swimming difficult and dangerous. Beach-goers, swimmers and surfers should exercise caution and heed all advice given by lifeguards, ocean safety officials said.

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