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Rising south swell, strong winds keep Oahu lifeguards busy

Ocean Safety lifeguards worked late today, performing numerous rescues “during a rising south swell and very strong winds, on a day that saw thousands brave the elements for fun surf,” Ocean Safety Chief John Titchen said in a news release.

They made 65 rescues and 1,700 preventative actions today on Oahu’s South Shore.

“Large, windy surf in Waikiki and along the East side at Sandy’s and Makapuu attracted thousands of beachgoers,” Titchen said.

Lifeguards responded just after 4 p.m. to reports of a 46-year-old female kite foiler struggling to tack against the wind and return to shore at Kahala.

She and a 46-year-old male kite foiler were heading downwind around Black Point toward Kaimana Beach Park, when the man got into trouble near rocks at Black Point.

The woman was trying to make it in to report that her fellow kite foiler was in distress having lost his rigging just off Black Point and was in need of rescue.

Lifeguards used a rescue watercraft to assist the pair to shore.

At Ala Moana Beach Park, lifeguards provided medical care to a 60-year-old man badly hurt by an out-of-control umbrella, Titchen said.

Lifeguards also rescued three people from a swamped canoe off Kaimana Beach.

But the rescues were not just on the South Shore.

Lifeguards aided two persons from an overturned canoe off Mokuleia Beach Park.

Lifeguards worked overtime to ensure adequate coverage was available until dark.

Ocean Safety reminds the public to use caution and to “know before you go” when windy conditions appear, as the wind can generate extremely strong rips and currents.

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