- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—Rescue crews plucked 12 people from the ocean off Waimea Bay on Monday evening after their 25-foot Boston Whaler capsized.

As fire rescue crews responded, they told the people to stay together in the water. It was unclear whether any had life jackets on.

The call came in around 7:45 p.m.

Except for that case, lifeguards, firefighters and the Coast Guard got a breather Monday following a busy weekend of ocean rescues.

“This weekend was a tragic reminder of how dangerous high surf can be,” Ocean Safety spokeswoman Shayne Enright said, referring to the death of two Schofield soldiers near Halona Blowhole. “Ocean Safety reminds all beachgoers to check with lifeguards before going into the water, and where there isn’t a lifeguard, watch the conditions for any significant changes.”

On the South Shore, lifeguards made 104 rescues over the weekend and took 104 preventive actions, meaning they often encouraged inexperienced people to stay out of turbulent waters.

“Many of those rescued were surfers who misjudged how big the surf was and didn’t have the experience to handle the conditions,” Enright said. “Ocean Safety rescued surfers from 6- to 8-foot-plus on the south shore, with broken boards and leashes and surfers who were too tired to paddle back to shore along with swimmers caught in strong currents.”

At Sandy Beach, lifeguards made four rescues and took 595 preventive actions over the weekend. On the west side they made 14 rescues and took 520 preventive actions.

The Coast Guard handled seven search-and-rescue cases over the weekend, mostly responding to vessels run aground, said Petty Officer 3rd Class Melissa McKenzie.

Honolulu firefighters responded to 15 swimmer- or surfer-in-distress calls, Capt. David Jenkins said. Most of them were handled jointly with city lifeguards, Jenkins said.

“The volume was particularly high at areas like Sandy’s, Waikiki and Ala Moana,” Jenkins said. “They were very prepared and very quick to respond.”


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