Ocean Safety Tips

December 28, 2010, 10:47 AM HST
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Most Hawaiian residents and tourists alike spend plenty of time enjoying the crystal blue waters that surround the coastlines of the islands. However, there are dangers lurking in those beautiful waters that you must be aware of if you are going to keep yourself and your family safe during those days under the tropical sun. We have ocean safety tips that will ensure your time in the water is as safe as it is fun.

Look for Lifeguards

One of the best ways to ensure swimming safety off Hawaii’s beaches is to only choose those that have lifeguards on duty. To find guarded beaches, check websites like Hawaii Beach Safety. It is also a good idea to ask the lifeguards about the conditions before you head out into the water, since they are probably the most informed about potential hazards lurking. Even if the beach has lifeguards, it is very important to keep a close eye on younger children in the water. Don’t rely on the guards alone to keep tots safe.

Know the Conditions

When there are hazardous conditions in the water, they are usually posted along the beaches to alert visitors to the problems. Always read all signs around your beach so you know what to watch out for. It is also a good idea to watch the surf for a number of minutes before getting into the water, so you know what the conditions are like. Always ask a lifeguard as well, so you know what to expect when swimming or surfing in that area.


Know Your Abilities


People who are not strong swimmers need to be especially vigilant about the potential hazards of the Hawaiian waters. Avoid big surf if you are not a strong swimmer and don’t let children go out in conditions you are not comfortable swimming in yourself. Do not depend on your surfboard to make up for a lack of swimming ability, since this is not a reliable flotation device in choppy waters. Avoid surfing in big waves unless you are an expert swimmer, and always be prepared for the inevitable “wipe out.”

Watch the Waves

One of the biggest hazards in big waves off the Hawaii coast is a neck or spinal cord injury that can occur when waves hurl swimmers into the shallow bottom. Check signs to familiarize yourself with current wave conditions. Yellow caution signs alert you to the potential for dangerous conditions to develop. High or extreme hazard sign warn inexperienced swimmers and surfers to stay out of the water completely. These ratings are updated multiple times a day, to ensure beach goers have the latest information on the current water conditions.


Water fun in Hawaii is abundant, but safety must come first when playing in the ocean off Hawaii’s shores. With these tips, you can rest assured your beach days will be safe and fun.

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