(BIVN) – Video showing a dramatic ocean rescue was shared by the County of Hawaiʻi on Monday, as officials warned of the dangerous surf conditions impacting West Hawaiʻi shores.
From the office of Hawaiʻi County Mayor Mitch Roth:
On January 9, 2022, Companies from Keauhou and Kailua fire stations along with Chopper-2 were dispatched to Lekeleke Bay (“End of the World”) for a person stranded on an outcropping of rocks in the bay due to large surf. Chopper-2 utilized the Billy Pugh rescue net and lowered a Fire Rescue Specialist to the victim in a very precarious position with the high surf and rough conditions. The victim was loaded onto the Billy Pugh net, extricated just before a massive wave hit the location where he was stuck, and then safely brought to shore. The victim denied any need for EMS treatment or transport.
According to the Hawaiʻi Fire Department, witnesses reported “the victim jumped into the water intentionally to go swimming,” and that “due to poor judgement and the large surf the victim was unable to exit the water along the shoreline”.
The ocean rescue was one of five carried out along the Kona Coast between January 8-10.
A High Surf Advisory that was in place for West Hawaiʻi shores for most of the day was replaced with a High Surf Warning by the evening. Surf of 8 to 12 feet was expected as a new, larger swell is forecast to arrive by
Due to the impacts of the swell, Kahaluʻu Beach Park, Laʻaloa Beach Park, and Māhukona Beach Park were closed on Monday. Other beaches may close without notice, officials say, pending additional impacts.
“We are asking that folks use extreme caution when entering waters off of the Kona Coast,” said Mayor Roth. “From what we understand the conditions are hazardous, even for the most advanced of swimmers, and we ask that you use your best discretion before deciding to jump in. We’ve seen a lot of ocean-related incidents over the past year and want to ensure that everyone makes it home to their families, friends, and loved ones. The ocean is special to us for so many different reasons, but it is also extremely powerful and should be respected as such.”