- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 17, 2017

HONOLULU (AP) - A dozen high school students in Hawaii were rescued after their double-hull canoe began taking on water.

An ocean wave inundated one of the Kalani High School Paddling Team’s canoes during a practice exercise Monday near Spitting Cave in east Oahu, according to the students and rescue workers. Fire and ocean safety crews were able to rescue the 12 students, who jumped into the water to avoid sinking with the boat.

“It just like swallowed us,” Mika O’Shea, a 17-year-old Kalani senior, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

The mix of boys and girls varsity and junior-varsity paddlers were in two canoes, O’Shea said. A single-hull canoe with the coach and five students had gone ahead, and its occupants didn’t see the double-hull canoe get swamped.

“It was just really rough and rocky out there,” freshman Kanai Oyakawa told KHON-TV. “We were all getting seasick out there, and I think that’s kind of why we were like, we were swamping, because there wasn’t that many people of us that were paddling, because we were all sick.”

School athletics director Greg Van Cantfort said all paddlers must pass a water safety training course to be on the team. He said he will meet with the coach and students Tuesday to make sure all safety protocols were followed and determine if any changes need to be made.

All students returned to shore safely, and no injuries were reported.


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