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6 rescued amid rough ocean conditions

‘ANINI — Hazardous ocean conditions on the North Shore prompted the rescue of six people at Queen’s Bath and ‘Anini Beach on Thursday, Dec. 1.

The first incident happened at approximately 11:30 a.m. in the waters off ‘Anini Beach when a pair of male snorkelers found themselves in a state of distress amid surf estimated at 12 feet.

First responders arrived on-scene about five minutes later, the County of Kaua‘i Fire Department said in a statement on Friday, Dec. 2. Ocean Safety Bureau north roving ski patrol lifeguards initially located one snorkeler.

The second snorkeler was also rescued by ski patrol lifeguards after a local surfer with a rescue tube alerted Hanalei fire station personnel on paddle boards as to the snorkeler’s location, and that the snorkeler was in need of assistance.

The second snorkeler was found approximately one-third of a mile offshore, outside of large surf. The snorkelers, who were identified as a Vancouver, Washington, resident and a Wailua resident, declined treatment after being ushered ashore.

A little more than an hour later, a second rescue took place at Queen’s Bath in Princeville, which is closed through winter in the interest of public safety, the fire department said.

First responders were dispatched at approximately 1:30 p.m., arriving about 10 minutes later to find four people sheltering against the cliff at Queen’s Bath.

One person had minor leg injuries, while a second person suffered nonlife-threatening injuries. A short while later, three of the distressed individuals were escorted to safety by a rescuer. They all declined medical treatment.

However, the fourth individual was extracted by Kaua‘i Fire Department Air 1 rescue helicopter to
awaiting medics. After receiving medical treatment from American Medical Response personnel, the fourth individual was transported to Wilcox Medical Center in Lihu‘e.

The four individuals were identified as residents of Florida, Mississippi, Texas and Wisconsin.

The incidents generated a warning to beachgoers about being mindful of ocean conditions, as well as local rules and regulations.

“Six individuals rescued on Thursday are fortunate to be alive. Swimming and snorkeling during a high surf warning and trespassing at Queen’s Bath, known for its hazardous ocean conditions, are extremely unwise, and put our first responders at tremendous risk,” said Kaua‘i Fire Department Chief Michael Gibson in a statement.

“We advise beachgoers to swim at lifeguarded beaches, check with lifeguards on ocean conditions before entering the water, and avoid areas that are closed off and pose a danger.”
Source: The Garden Island

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