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Ocean Safety rescues over 250 people across Oahu as beaches reopen

                                Point Panic in Kakaako drew beachgoers this morning.
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Point Panic in Kakaako drew beachgoers this morning.

As of 4:45 p.m., Ocean Safety lifeguards have rescued 266 people across Oahu.

“Ocean Safety responded in force today,” Shayne Enright, spokeswoman for the Honolulu Emergency Services Department, said in a news release today. “It was a busy day of keeping the public protected. Lifeguards reported packed beaches across the island, on the same level with major holiday crowds.”

Beaches across the island today opened for activities other than exercise — nearly two months after city and state orders closed them in late March.

“We know people are excited to get back out to the beach and back to something that feels more like normal life,” Mayor Kirk Caldwell said in a statement about the rescues. “We only ask that people be careful, and continue to practice all of the measures that got us to this point. We want people to be able to get in the water, and relax on the beach, but please be careful and know that our lifeguards and first responders are putting their lives on the line to keep us all safe.”

Honolulu Emergency Medical Services and the Honolulu Fire Department assisted with some of the rescues, which Enright described as whenever “Ocean Safety makes contact and brings someone from the ocean to the shore.”

She noted the following incidents from today:

>> Around 9 a.m., a diver near Rabbit Island was stung by a jellyfish and suffered an allergic reaction was rescued and needed medical treatment.

>> Around noon, two men who may have been diving around Tracks Beach required rescuing and were transported by EMS. One of the men, who is in his 40s, was unresponsive and was taken to an emergency room in critical condition, and the other, who is in his 30s, was transported in serious condition.

>> Around 2:30 p.m., Ocean Safety rescued a surfer around Kewalo Basin who may have had a medical condition.

>> Around 2:30 p.m., a man at Ke Waena was swept out to sea and was rescued by lifeguards on jet skis.

>> Around 4 p.m., an elderly woman was rescued at the Waimea Bay shoreline.

Enright said that lifeguards made 13,168 preventative actions today.

Caldwell’s emergency order on Friday stated that Gov. David Ige’s orders on beach closures “are not applicable to the City” as of today.

The order opens beaches from a half-hour before sunrise to a half-hour after sunset, although those fishing from shore or exercising are exempt.

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