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High surf on Oahu’s north, west shores keeps first responders busy

Honolulu lifeguards have been busy today due to a high surf warning along the north and west shores of most isles as the largest swell of the season reaches its peak.

Honolulu Ocean Safety said before 9:30 a.m., a 40-year old road worker was injured along Kamehameha Highway near “Rock Piles” when a large wave hit roadside barriers.

Honolulu Emergency Medical Services treated the man for lacerations and transported him to an emergency room in stable condition.

At 9:40 a.m., Honolulu Ocean Safety responded to five people in trouble at Ko Olina lagoon No. 4.

Two young children, both wearing life-jackets, were playing in shallow water when a rogue wave entered the lagoon through the opening, pulling them out into the open ocean.

Three adult men — relatives of the girls — entered the water to rescue them. All five were able to get back to shore on their own.

Lifeguards onshore administered medical aid until EMS and the Honolulu Fire Department arrived.

Paramedics treated the adults for lacerations. They declined transport to a hospital, but one man drove himself to an emergency room for further medical treatment. The two girls were uninjured.

Ocean Safety said lifeguards rescued five people from North Shore waters today and took 2,260 preventative actions. Of all beaches, Waimea Bay was the busiest, with crowds on shore and surfers in the lineup.

On the west side, Ocean Safety lifeguards rescued 35 people, and took 1,065 preventative actions. The majority of rescues on the west side were at Makaha Beach, officials said, where there was a large crowd of surfers. (edited)

The National Weather Service’s high surf warning covers the north and west-facing shores of Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, and Molokai; the north-facing shores of Maui; and the west-facing shores of Hawaii island through 6 p.m. Thursday.

Surf is expected to reach 40 to 50 feet along north facing shores, and 25 to 35 feet along west facing shores today.

Officials say the public should stay away from the shoreline along affected coasts and postpone entering or leaving channels affected by the high surf. In addition to powerful rip currents, ocean water is expected to surge and sweep across beaches, periodically washing over vulnerable coastal roadways, with localized beach erosion.

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