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High surf warning in effect; Kauai's north beaches close

Published On: Oct 09 2012 06:38:29 AM HST
Updated On: Oct 09 2012 02:53:00 PM HST
HALEIWA, Hawaii -

The city's Emergency Services Department says Waimea Bay was reopened at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

But, a high surf warning took effect Tuesday for north and west facing shores of Kauai, Oahu and Molokai as well as the north facing shores of Maui, according to the National Weather Service.  The warning is expected to stay in effect until 6 p.m. Wednesday.  Surf heights are expected to peak Tuesday afternoon into the evening.

Surf heights are expected to build to heights of 20 to 25 feet along north facing shores and 15 to 20 feet along west facing shores of the affected islands.

Kauai officials say North Shore beaches on the Garden Isle from Hanalei to Ke'e were closed to swimming due to the high surf.

Although Waimea Bay was reopened, lifeguards were warning inexperienced onlookers and beachgoers to stay out of the water.

At around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, two off-duty Ocean Safety lifeguards were checking out the surf at Laniakea Beach when they noticed three swimmers caught in the rip current.  The lifeguards grabbed rescue boards and got out to the swimmers and brought them safely to shore.  The swimmers did not require medical attention.

On Monday, officials say that beachgoers saw a 10-foot shore break and the surf heights were expected to rise.  They say long intervals between breaks added to the hazard, and they were seeing 30-minute intervals.

Two people were hospitalized on Monday because of the dangerous surf at Waimea Bay, according to Emergency Services officials.

A 23-year-old woman was taken to the hospital in serious condition at around 11:45 a.m.  A 14-year-old boy was also hospitalized in stable condition at approximately 1 p.m.

There were also more than 500 preventative actions, 25 assists and two shoulder injuries which did not require hospitalizations on Monday.

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