The Honolulu Emergency Medical Services made over 40 ocean-related rescues and responded to two ocean-related injuries on New Year’s Day during a high surf advisory and small craft advisory for parts of the state continue until Thursday morning.
At 1 p.m., Ocean Safety rescued a 52-year-old man who was surfing at Sunset Beach and fell on a wave. Lifeguards administered support, and EMS transported him in serious condition to a trauma center.
At 3:30 p.m. Ocean Safety rescued a 14-year-old boy at Pipeline who was also surfing. He was held underwater after falling on a wave. He was also transported to a trauma center but in stable condition.
EMS reported 34 rescues on Oahu’s north shore and seven on its west shore.
The high surf advisory is for the north and west facing shores of Oahu, Kauai, Niihau and Molokai, the north facing shores of Maui and the west facing shores of Hawaii island and will continue until 6 a.m. Thursday.
The National Weather Service reported that a large northwest swell has gradually lowered throughout the day “but will continue to produce advisory level surf along most north and west facing shores into tonight.”
Surf is 10 to 15 feet along the north and west facing shores of Niihau and Kauai and the north facing shores of Oahu, Molokai and Maui. Smaller surf on the west facing shores of Oahu and Molokai are are eight to 12 feet, and even smaller along the west facing shores of Hawaii island at six to ten feet.
NWS said, “Expect strong breaking waves, shore break and strong longshore and rip currents making swimming difficult and dangerous.”
A small craft advisory, meaning winds are between 25 to 33 knots, is also in effect until 6 a.m. Thursday, with nine to 11 foot seas for the windward waters of Hawaii island Kauai, Maui county and Oahu, the leeward waters of Kauai and the Kauai and Kaiwi channels.
The conditions are hazardous to small craft.
NWS said, “Inexperienced mariners, especially those operating smaller vessels, should avoid navigating in these conditions.”