Water Safety, Honolulu
Pacific waters has some dangerous conditions such as strong currents, big waves, undertow, sharp coral, and dangerous sea creatures. All of them you should take into consideration.
In case of Medical Emergencies call 911. The hotels generaly also have doctors.
Newcomers, in Hawaiian - "malihini," should take care in choosing where they will enjoy the beaches. Unless you are experienced - "kama`aina", use guarded beaches and do not recreate alone. When ocean conditions look rough, talk to the lifeguard on duty about conditions.
Beaches are rated for wave hazards using coloured signs. Yellow - Caution, Red - High Hazard, Green - Extreme Hazard. To have the safest beach experience, visit only guarded beaches with a normal caution rating (yellow square).
Another danger may be caused by the jellyfish. Its presence is not too frequent, but it is predictable based on the phases of the moon. The most dangerous jellies are the Box jellies. Their sting attacks the heart, nervous system and skin cells.
Once you've been stung, look for a lifeguard station, as they have supplies for treating any wounds.
Very important: If you are in doubt, just stay out!
Leptospirosis is an extremely common bacteria that is typically found in fresh tropical waters which have been contaiminated by urine from infected animals. This infection has symptoms of high fever, severe headache, chills, muscle aches, and vomiting, and may include jaundice (yellow skin and eyes), red eyes, abdominal pain, diarrhea, or a rash.
The risk of acquiring Leptospirosis can be reduced by not swimming or coming into contact with contaminated water. Protective footwear may also be a good idea. If contracted, Leptospirosis is treated with antibiotics. Having typed all of this. I swam in the Muanawili falls pool and did not get a Leptospirosis infection.
Abide by the rules when around and in the public pool/s and everything should work out just fine.
I thought this was a pretty "nifty" way of displaying the rules. These can be found at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Pool
The best thing to do is learn to spot rip currents and avoid them. However, if you do find yourself in a rip current, remember the following. It could save your life!
DON'T FIGHT THE RIP CURRENT - Conserve energy, keep calm, float, breathe, don't panic, and wave for help
GO WITH THE FLOW - You can easily float in the current, there is no undertow. Allow the current to take you away from the beach. In weaker rips, swim parallel to the shore until the current has completely relaxed. Otherwise, the current will eventually release you offshore. Once this happens swim perpendicular and towards the beach
WAIT FOR HELP - If there is large surf or shoreline hazards, wave your hands for help and wait for assistance
Rip currents are channeled currents of water flowing away from shore. They generally begin from the shoreline and head through the surf zone - past the line of breaking waves. Some people mistakenly call this undertow. It is important to understand that there is no undertow, just water moving away from the beach.
Rip currents are created by wind and waves. Waves that break over shallow sandbars and reefs push water towards the shore. Water builds up near shore and must get back out to sea. This pressure creates concentrated rivers of water to move away from the beach to calmer deeper water. The water forced away from shore is otherwise known as a rip current.
HOW TO SPOT A RIP CURRENT
Look for waves breaking over shallow reefs and/or sandbars. Then look for deeper channel(s) without waves breaking. This is where water will be moving away from shore. Rip currents will look similar to a moving river with little chops breaking against the flow of water.
When you go to any beach on Oahu, make sure you wear water shoes. This is especially true for Waikiki beach, because the floor is riddled with rocks and chunks of coral. While your surfing, your bound to get tossed around a little by the waves and might get some scratches on your body, but the least you can do is protect your feet.
Make sure that when you go surfing, wear a surf shirt, otherwise you'll get the surfer rash. The wax that is put on the board will definatly cause from friction when its in contact with your wet skin. Unfortunatly, you will probably leave with a little rash on your thighs and knees, but trust me, you will prefer them on your legs over your chest and belly.
It is easy to think that you can get in the water and ride those waves, but BE CAREFUL...they are dangerous especially on north shore. They are HUGE and even if you are strong, you can put yourself in danger if you are not experienced, so watch out. The currents are also strong. The picture does no justice to the size of those waves, but I thought I'd stick it in there anyway.
If you are ever swimming in the ocean, and you see a school of dolphin (someplace on Oahu, you can swim with wild dolphin) and all the sudden they all just take off in all direction (like something is chasing them) and you start to hear the theme music from the movie JAWS............you screwed!
From time to time there are several natural hazards when going to the beaches of Hawaii. Even if your on Waikiki beach. Every local radio, TV station and news outlet has a section pertaining to surf conditions and/or jellyfish/man of war or shark sighting reports. Check these before venturing to the beach. Especially if you are going to some of the more remote beaches like on the North Shore.
High surf conditions are great if you are into surfing, but not particularly fun if you are swimming or kayaking.
Every beach will have signage posted of any dangers or warnings. If you see a sign warning of "strong current's" you should be aware of this. On Sunset beach on the North shore, I once witnessed a man on a boogie board take over 30 minutes to paddle in about 100 meters. On Sandy beach many tourist who don't heed the "shorebreak" warning signs, are injured every year. Learn what beach terminology or ask someone what particular warning sign means before heading into the water.
Don't be brazen and think you can handle situations or dangers you have not faced or had little or no experience with. Many of the less popular beaches DO NOT have lifeguards on duty at all times so if you do get into trouble help maybe a long ways off.
On some of the beaches throughout the islands, there are undertows near the beachhead. Some places didn't have signs posted on those beaches that had udertows.
Undertows can pull some adults or childern under water in a split-second. Always check for listings on the island that your on, or ask someone before going in so that you know what that area of the beach is like. Usually the populated beaches are safe, it's the unpopulated ones that you want to be wary of, no matter how beautiful they look be careful and be advised.
On some of the beaches throughout the islands, they have undertows near the beachhead. Some places didn't have signs posted on beaches that had udertows. Undertows can pull some adults or most childern under water in a split-second. Always check for listings on the island that your on, or ask someone before going in so that you know what that area of the beach is like. Usually the populated beaches are safe, it's the unpopulated ones that you want to be wary of. No matter how beautiful the beaches with undertows look they can be dangerous aeras to swim in.
Just be careful in the water guys . When they put out a wave advisory it is because it can be rough out there . I know that is the best for all surf lovers but even the best get knocked down every now and then .
During the winter months DO NOT go swimming in the surf on the North Shore. The 20 foot waves are great to look at, but most people forget that those waves are solid walls of water. A 20 foot wave weighs more than your house. So if you don't want to end up like the Wicked Witch of the East in the Wizard of Oz, then be VERY careful and heed all the warning signs.
Keep little kids away from Hot Tubs. My Son fell in this one. Thank God for over a year of swimming lessons at the Local YMCA. He loved it.