Honolulu Ocean Safety and Honolulu Emergency Medical Services were busy today with multiple rescues, including a baby swept under a home by a wave as the Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational surf contest at Waimea Bay got underway.
Thousands of fans descended upon Oahu’s North Shore to watch about 40 of the world’s top big-wave surfers, and for the first time, six women, compete in the contest which last ran in 2016.
Honolulu Ocean Safety collectively made 103 rescues and took 12,090 preventative actions on the North Shore and the west side. On the North Shore, there were 64 rescues, the majority at Waimea Bay, while 7,000 of the 10,505 preventative actions also took place at Waimea Bay.
On the west side, there were 39 rescues, the majority at Makaha Beach, and 1,585 preventative actions.
Just before the kickoff of the contest at 8 a.m., a 14-year-old boy was injured from falling roughly 10 feet out of a tree he was perched upon to watch. EMS and Honolulu fire personnel treated and transported him to an emergency room in serious condition.
At 9:15 a.m., personnel responded to the scene at Ke Iki Road where a large wave crashed into vehicles and a house, where two people and a baby were standing. EMS said the baby was swept underneath the home and recovered. Officials evaluated the baby who was not injured, while the two adults declined transportation to an emergency room.
At 10:30 a.m., personnel responded to a surfer who possibly suffered broken ribs at Chun’s surf break but declined transportation to the emergency room.
Just after 3 p.m., Honolulu Ocean Safety responded to multiple swimmers in distress at Makua Beach. Lifeguards made contact and brought all to shore, unharmed. At the same time, lifeguards responded to a 34-year old female who was knocked unconscious after she was ejected off the back of a Jet Ski. She was brought to shore by a private watercraft and onshore she was treated by lifeguards. Honolulu EMS responded and took over treatment and transported her to an emergency room in serious condition.
Shortly after 4 p.m., Honolulu Ocean Safety responded to a 51-year old female along Ke Nut Road behind the Ehukai Tower, after a large wave pushed a concrete barrier into the patient. Lifeguards treated her leg for a possible fracture.