Stay safe while enjoying scenic Hawaii

Story and photos by Don Robbins

Editor, Ho‘okele

The island of Oahu boasts many scenic lookout spots and spectacular beaches.

For example, there is a small island just off the windward shore of Oahu known as Rabbit Island, or Manana Island. Another small rock island lies right next to Rabbit Island and is known as Kaohikaipu Island, or Black Rock.

Another visually stunning location on Oahu is Kualoa Regional Park, located at Kaneohe Bay. The park offers a close-up view of the offshore island of Mokoli‘i, commonly known as Chinaman’s Hat.

Along the eastern edge of Waikiki’s coastline is the recognizable profile of Diamond Head, or Leahi. Diamond Head State Monument is known for its breathtaking views, hiking trail and history.

In the town of Laie in the Koolauloa district of Oahu, there is a point of land called Laniloa, or the Mo‘o. According to legend described on a plaque at the site, this peninsula was originally a “mo‘o” or giant lizard, standing upright ready to kill any intruder.

In addition, there are also a multitude of beautiful beaches along Oahu’s north and south shores. They are stunningly attractive, but they can also feature rough, dangerous surf conditions. The Joint Base Morale, Welfare and Recreation website safety features links to state ocean-safety and hiking-safety tips and videos. According to a Navy Region Hawaii Recreation and Off-Duty Safety Awareness (RODS), although Hawaii is beautiful, there are inherent dangers in the surf, cliffs and trails.

A Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class died in 2014 in an incident near the China Walls in Maunalua Bay after being swept out to sea by strong currents. That same year, a Naval Aircrewman 3rd Class died in a recreational cliff jumping activity near the Spitting Cave at Maunalua Bay just east of Honolulu. In 2005, a Navy Operations Specialist 3rd Class also drowned at Spitting Cave.

The following are a few Navy Region Hawaii ocean safety tips in the brief.

• Swim in lifeguarded areas.

• Ask a lifeguard about beach and surf conditions and safety before swimming.

• Never swim alone.

• Don’t dive into unknown water or into shallow breaking water.

• Don’t attempt to dive over large waves.

• If unable to swim out of a strong current, or you are having difficulty returning to the beach, signal for help.

• Avoid swimming too close to or standing on reefs.

• Avoid murky water.

• When in doubt, don’t go out.

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Category: Life & Leisure