Another Reminder to Respect the Ocean

A tourist visiting Maui spent 19 hours floating in choppy sea waters after her canoe overturned.  Fortunately she survived.  You can read more about her experience from KITV

Maui News has written an excellent editorial on the mistakes this tourist accidentally made.  Let’s review and learn from the mistakes.

  1. “She did not have any sort of flotation device.”  Why take the risk? 
  2. She went out on her own without a partner.  “A partner can save your life if you run into difficulties.”
  3. She let go of her kayak.  “If your boat swamps, stay with it. A boat, kayak or canoe is much easier to see than a swimmer, whose head is no bigger than than a floating coconut.”
  4. She didn’t let anyone on land know of her plans.  “The woman tourist last week spent a long night in the ocean. Apparently, no one knew she was out there…”
  5. Apparently, she didn’t ask for advice about the safety of taking a kayak out during mid-day when the waters are notoriously dangerous.  “Long-time watermen and waterwomen know about the dangers and seldom venture out in mid-day when the winds are usually at their strongest. Tourists who rent kayaks or go on kayak tours in the area usually get the word or have the benefit of a knowledgeable guide.”  It’s always a good idea to politely ask a local person their advice before getting into the water. 

When in Hawaii, it’s important to realize that there are a few safety precautions you should always take, particularly in the water.  It is important to read the caution signs at beaches, check the current conditions, and check with a life guard when possible.  The Maui News editorial says this:

There is a strong tendency to believe Maui is one huge theme park. It isn’t. Although the risks are minimal with common-sense precautions, the ocean and the island’s mountains and valleys are not always as benign as they appear.

My intent in sharing this information with you is simply to make you aware and informed.  By following a few simple safety guidelines, you’ll thoroughly and safely enjoy your vacation to Hawaii. 

  1. Sheila,
    Thank you for this timely warning. As we head into winter here in Hawaii, the ocean can have bigger surf, and some beaches have a strong undertow. If you see warning signs on the beach–read them. If you don’t see anyone going into the ocean, ask someone “why”, because there is probably a good reason.

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