Lifeguards warn beachgoers to be careful ahead of busy, and dangerous, summer

Lifeguards are reminding beachgoers to use extra caution when getting in the water.

Lifeguards reported 24 rescues at Sandy Beach and 45 rescues on leeward beaches by Monday evening.

The city Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services Division told KHON2 it expects to see many more throughout the summer.

“We’ve got great weather. That south swell is really getting everybody out of the woodwork that wants to get to the beach, bring their family, and barbecue,” said Aka Tamashiro, an Ocean Safety lifeguard.

However, a day at the beach can quickly turn dangerous.

When we spoke to them Monday afternoon, lifeguards had rescued 12 people at Sandy’s along with issuing 250 warnings — and that was only midway through the holiday.

“It’ll look nice and calm, and then all of sudden a set of waves will come through,” Tamashiro said. “It’s already swept a couple of people off their feet and then it’s a race from the tower to get them and their children before they get swept into the dangerous shore break.”

Whether the person being rescued is an expert or a beginner, a local, or a tourist, lifeguards told KHON2 many of them have one thing in common.

“A recurring theme is ‘Oh, I didn’t think that this was going to happen. Oh, I didn’t think that the waves were going to be this big or that they were going to be this powerful,'” Tamashiro said.

Ocean safety said it’s gearing up for a busy summer season.

“Our hot spots like Spitting Caves, Makapuu Tide Pools, we know are big destination spots, but again with the south swells and the higher tides, it’s so easy for people to get swept off the ledges or jump into conditions that they’re not exactly thinking about, which can and have turned fatal real quickly,” Tamashiro said.

It was a close call over the weekend when five people were rescued at Spitting Caves. A man jumped into the water and four of his friends jumped in after him when he started to struggle.

Lifeguards are warning visitors to stay away from ledges and wet rocks and to keep a close eye on kids

“Nobody goes to these type of areas expecting something bad to happen,” Tamashiro said. “We just want everybody to be mindful and think about what areas and what situations you’re putting yourself into.”

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