High surf off the coast of Hawaii has kept Oahu lifeguards extremely busy.
Yesterday, dozens were rescued and lifeguards issued more than 4,000 warnings to beachgoers.
Two people had a very close call at popular bodyboarding spot Makapuu Beach. A man and a woman were knocked into the ocean by a big wave and needed to be rescued.
“They were completely exhausted by the time we got to them,” Shayne Enright, Ocean Safety spokeswoman, told KHON 2.
“Our lifeguards launched the rescue watercraft from Sandy Beach. They went around the corner and were able to find the two people and pick them up… If any more time had passed, we likely would have been recovering two bodies.”
On the North Shore, 13 people were rescued. At surf spot Himalayas, eight people were rescued, and at Sharks Cove and Three Tables, lifeguards gave out nearly 2,000 warnings.
Enright said Ocean Safety doesn’t have the power to close beaches, even though “the North Shore is out of control.”
“We have signs up at pretty much all the beaches talking about high surf, high hazards, strong currents, and I’m sure we have the yellow tape up as well,” Enright said. “But again, we can’t close beaches. We can’t tell people they have to stay out of the water.”
The National Weather Service’s strong-surf advisory is still in effect at east-facing beaches until tonight and warns beachgoers that rip currents are life threatening.
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