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March 06, 2006

Shark Sightings Cose Beaches In Hawaii

Topics: Hawaiian News, Human Interest

tiger_shark.jpgApparently tiger sharks can grow up to 18 ft long, but I can believe that when one 12-feet long is seen, it's time to close the beach. The last reported shark attack on O'ahu was Feb. 16, 2005, when a shark bit a surfer's board off Sunset Beach:

City ocean safety officials yesterday closed two beaches in Makaha because of shark sightings.

The first closure, at Makaha Beach, was made about 10:30 a.m. during a heat of the Buffalo's Big Board Surfing Classic because of a reported shark sighting, said Ocean Safety & Lifeguard Services Lt. Kelly Krohne. Competition resumed 45 minutes later.

Officials later saw a 12-foot tiger shark behind the Hawaiian Princess at Makaha Beach condominium and time-share and closed Lahilahi Beach about 1:30 p.m. for the remainder of the afternoon, Krohne said.

It was not known if the shark at Lahilahi was the same one at Makaha Beach, Krohne said.

Lt. Christine Serania of Securitas, which provides security services at the Hawaiian Princess, said the shark at Lahilahi was first sighted by a beachgoer about 12:45 p.m., swimming between some divers and the reef about 40 yards offshore.


Tiger sharks are one of three main shark species known to attack humans, and are responsible for most shark attacks in Hawaii.

Posted for Harry Owens

Posted by Richard at March 6, 2006 05:08 PM

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Subject: Tiger sharks
To All:

Tiger sharks will attack humans. Whenever we sight one, the effected beaches are immediately closed.

Just last week:

MAKENA, Maui — A 15-year-old Kihei girl was bitten on the leg by a shark yesterday at Makena State Park on the same coastline where the shark-ravaged remains of a diver were found Friday.

Initial reports indicate the girl suffered a 12-inch wound on her right calf around 4:30 p.m. The stepfather of the unidentified girl said the teen told him she was swimming at Big Beach when she was attacked without warning. He said the girl, who was taken to Maui Memorial Medical Center, is expected to recover.

He declined to comment further or to provide their names, citing a desire for privacy.

Makena State Park is a popular swimming and bodyboarding spot also known for its treacherous shorebreak and currents.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources followed its usual protocol for shark attacks and closed a section of coastline near where the incident occurred and notified nearby hotels, including the Maui Prince. Crews are expected to scan the waters this morning to look for sharks in the area before a decision is made whether to reopen the shoreline.

An autopsy on the remains of the diver found last week indicated Anthony Moore, 45, of San Jose, Calif., likely died before his body was bitten by sharks. Moore swam out alone from Makena Landing on Thursday afternoon and was reported missing by his wife when he failed to return. Partial remains and diving gear were found the following day at a dive spot known as Five Graves.

On Dec. 21, a San Diego man lost part of his left hand when he was bitten by a shark while swimming several hundred yards off Keawakapu Beach in Kihei. On Feb. 1, a kayaker reported being bumped by a large shark about a mile off Makena State Park.

In 2005, there were five shark attacks in Hawai'i, four off Maui and one off O'ahu. In 2004, there were four attacks, one each off Maui, Moloka'i, Kaua'i and the Big Island.

The last fatal shark attack in the Islands occurred April 7, 2004, when a surfer was killed off Kahana in West Maui.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 03/06/2006 05:47 pm - reply- forum

Subject: Shark Scares
Living in the desert, I don't know how typical or likely a shark attack is. However, I recall seeing video of large sharks taken by news cameras in helicopters within several hundred yards of major beaches up and down Florida. I'm wondering how sightings typically take place. Do people just notice a shark or are there spotters?

# Posted by tim at 03/06/2006 06:15 pm - reply- forum

Subject: Shark sightings
Dear Tim:

Since Hawaii resides in the middle of the Pacific Ocean ... realm of the pelagic sharks ... we have helicopters and small planes conducting surveillance of all our popular beaches.

Shark attacks have increased in recent years, because the tour industry has created artificial reefs for sightseeing and our new tourist-submarines. The reefs attract fish life. Sharks envision the new reefs as buffets. Usually, it is only reef sharks.

Also, seals and whales frequent the Sandwich Isles. More so, now, that we have established the isles as a whale sanctuary. The pelagic sharks, like tiger sharks, adore seals. Unfortunately, surfers on their boards look too much like seals.

A 12-year-old-girl surfer lost an arm off Kauai a few years ago. It created a national stir.

A few years ago, they closed a beach on Maui near the Ritz-Carlton ... Napili area ... for a shark invasion. The TV stations here aired pictures of three or four tiger sharks patrolling the bay area, just waiting for someone to dive in.

Wiht Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 03/06/2006 06:38 pm - reply- forum

Harry - I was going to suggest holding the Intergalactic Hyscience Conference and World Event (HICWE) in the tropical paradise of Hawaii but you persuade me to look elsewhere. :-)

# Posted by tim at 03/06/2006 09:38 pm - reply- forum

Subject: Beach Closings
Deat Tim:

You may find this odd, but jellyfish close more beaches on Oahu than sharks.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 03/06/2006 10:08 pm - reply- forum

Subject: Whale Collision
To All:

MA'ALAEA, Maui — A Pacific Whale Foundation vessel on a whale-watch cruise with about 70 schoolchildren aboard collided with a humpback whale calf yesterday off South Maui.
No one was hurt in the collision, but the baby whale was bloodied, according to witnesses. Greg Kaufman, who heads the Pacific Whale Foundation, said no one saw the calf and its mother before the pair surfaced under the 65-foot Ocean Spirit just before 10 a.m. as the vessel was headed toward Kaho'olawe at a speed of 15 knots.

Jane Mori, a fifth-grade teacher at the Carden Academy of Maui, said 32 fifth-, sixth- and seventh-graders from the Pukalani school were on the boat along with a group from St. Joseph's School in Makawao. "We were watching whales in the distance for some time and we were just starting to cruise around to look for more whales when a mother and calf just popped up right in front of the boat. All of a sudden there was this grinding noise and we looked off the back of the boat and all you saw was blood over the water," Mori said.

She described the impact as a jolt. "It felt like we hit a rock, like we were on a reed but we were out in the middle of the ocean. It was horrible," she said.

No one was thrown to the deck or hurt, Mori said. "A lot of the children were crying and the adults were shaking. It was pretty devastating," she said.

NOAA Fisheries staff went out later in the day to look for the whales and reported the calf was injured on its pectoral fin and head, but that it appeared to be "swimming and acting normally," according to spokeswoman Wende Goo.

Federal authorities are investigating the collision and continue to monitor the injured whale, Goo said.

Kaufman said males "escort" whales were nearby at the time of the collision, indicating the mother-calf pair may have been under pursuit and trying evade aggressive suitors.

"We've seen more and more situations where mothers with calves swim toward boats when they are being pursued by males, and this was one of those unfortunate situations where the whale misguessed where the boat was heading," he said.

Kaufman said the mother and calf were seen swimming away and exhibiting normal behavior in the immediate aftermath of the strike, which he described "as a little bump."

The vessel sustained damaged to its rudder and was out of commission today.

An estimated 5,000 humpback whales visit Hawai'i annually to socialize, mate and calve in the Islands' warm, shallow waters. The majority of whales arrive by mid-December and most leave by April.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 03/10/2006 06:03 pm - reply- forum

What a memorable field trip - it isn't everyday that you hit a whale.

# Posted by tim at 03/10/2006 06:58 pm - reply- forum

Subject: Whale Collisions
Dear Tim:

Interestingly, the last two whale collisions ended tragically. The most recent, a toddler on a whale-watching boat was stuck and knocked overboard by the tailfin of a whale. The toddler died.

The more distant collision was first interpreted as a whale, yet before the fishing boat sank, the crew, mostly fisherman trainees, realized it was a surfacing submarine. Some nine lives were lost as the fishing boat slipped under the waves. The trainees were form Japan ... most teenagers.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 03/10/2006 07:21 pm - reply- forum

Harry - I recall the second accident as a tragic international incident. I don't recall hearing the conclusion of the investigation.

# Posted by tim at 03/11/2006 12:05 pm - reply- forum

Subject: Ehime Maru
Dear Tim:

Here are the results of the collision:

Scott Waddle, the former Navy commander of the Pearl Harbor-based submarine that collided and sank a Japanese fisheries training vessel, agreed yesterday with the findings of a National Transportation Safety Board investigation into the accident.

Waddle was skipper of the USS Greeneville when it collided with the Ehime Maru on Feb. 9, 2001, during a surfacing maneuver 9 miles south of Diamond Head. Nine people aboard, all Japanese, died.

"It was an ugly event," Waddle said by telephone from a Nebraska airport. "But the one guy who is responsible is the captain and the buck stops there."

The safety board released its 50-page findings yesterday. It blamed the collision on poor communication between senior crew members of the Greeneville and shortcuts made by Waddle, largely to accommodate 16 civilian guests who were not adequately managed. The report said his actions gave the crew a false sense of security about nearby surface ships — what submariners call "contacts."

"The civilians, although not directly a hindrance, were a distraction," Waddle said. "And, no, they were not properly managed. The submarine was at sea for one purpose and that was to entertain them for the day. And my team — myself included — failed to manage the contact picture adequately."

The safety board said Waddle's "overly directive style" of leadership led to "teamwork problems." It also noted that he made "critical errors" when key people operating the Greeneville failed to perform their duties and communicate vital information.

The breakdown led to three mistakes by Waddle:

He failed to adequately analyze the whereabouts of surface ships in the area.

He rushed the submarine to periscope depth, adversely affecting his crew's ability to understand what was on the surface.

He ordered the surfacing maneuver in the direction of the Ehime Maru.

Contributing to the errors made by senior personnel responsible for the ship's safety was Waddle's failure to ensure that the civilian visitors did not impede operations, the report stated.

The guests were part of the Navy's "distinguished visitors" program and most of them were in the control room with Waddle when the submarine shot to the surface from a depth of 400 feet. The crew had executed an emergency main ballast tank blow, a procedure that forces the submarine to the surface as quickly as possible. Once begun, the sub's course cannot be altered.

The report concluded that Waddle added the emergency maneuver for the visitors and that he took a series of "procedural shortcuts" rather than perform standard-risk assessment beforehand. The report said he was apparently more concerned that the visitors were involved in the maneuver, personally assigning a civilian to sit at the helm controls and allowing another to operate the levers that launch the maneuver — although both were under direct supervision.

Waddle then served as a narrator for what was going on.

"I cannot refute what the NTSB said," Waddle said. "The reason the procedures were rushed was that I thought it was prudent. I thought it was safe. In hindsight, I was wrong. I don't think anyone would have done an emergency surfacing procedure if they knew there was a ship that close."

Waddle said he did not expect to see anything on the surface when he originally peered through the periscope before sending the sub back down for the maneuver.

"In my mind, I didn't expect to see anything and I didn't," he said. "Everybody was just enjoying the fact that the civilians were out there and that was screwed up."

The collision created an embarrassing international incident for the Navy and ended Waddle's career. He had been one of the most-respected officers on the Pearl Harbor waterfront.

The report's conclusions mirrored those reached by a Navy court of inquiry in April 2001 — something the Navy reiterated yesterday.

Since the collision, the Navy made several changes to the way it trains submarine commanders to manage risk, said Jon Yoshishige, a spokesman for the Pacific Fleet. A submarine's commanding officer and executive officer are required to attend a rigorous six-week course where they are encouraged to challenge their trainers when presented with real-life scenarios, Yoshishige said.

Taking civilians on a cruise remains a key public relations tool for the Navy, Yoshishige said, but guests are no longer allowed to touch the controls.

"Our commanding officers are expected to operate their ships and in fact routinely do operate their ships under conditions considerably more stressful and complex," Yoshishige said. "It is the commanding officer's responsibility to prevent his crew from being distracted."

In 2001, the Navy found Waddle, now 46, guilty of dereliction of duty and negligent hazarding of the Greeneville. Waddle retired with full benefits and has since written a book and is now a motivational speaker. He has 150 to 200 speaking engagements a year and has stood before school groups, church groups, lawyers, bankers and business and professional associations.

Waddle said he remains a staunch supporter of the Navy, adding that his daughter is a freshman at the U.S. Naval Academy, his alma mater.

"If I could go back in time and have a few more of those minutes back," he said of that Friday afternoon off O'ahu, "I wish we could have looked a little bit higher with the periscope and a little longer. I am confident we would have seen the Ehime Maru. Two feet higher, 30 seconds longer and we would have seen it."

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 03/11/2006 12:15 pm - reply- forum

Subject: Another Whale calf hit
To All:

MA'ALAEA, Maui — For the second time in less than a week, a baby humpback whale has been injured by a boat — this time in a hit-and-run collision off Maui.

The 14-foot-long calf was spotted by a tour boat Wednesday at Ma'alaea with deep gashes caused by a propeller. A Dolphin Institute research vessel that was in the area found it resting at the surface with its mother in a protective position underneath the calf. Two male escort whales were with the pair, and prowling nearby were three tiger sharks.

Lou Herman, president of the nonprofit Dolphin Institute, said the five reported whale-boat collisions this year are the most ever in a single humpback whale season.

With the whale population in Hawai'i increasing at an estimated 7 percent annually, the ratio of whales to vessels is increasing, Herman said — meaning a greater threat to calves, which are difficult to see as they rest just under the surface.

On March 9, a Pacific Whale Foundation whale-watch vessel struck a whale calf off South Maui, injuring its head and pectoral fin. The whale was later seen accompanied by its mother and behaving normally.

The humpback calf spotted Wednesday was not bleeding, and it appeared the injuries had occurred within the previous two to three days, said David Schofield, marine mammal response coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Pacific Island Region. No one reported the collision, although it is almost certain the boat operator was aware of the impact, he said.

"When these whales hit boats or boats hit whales, whatever the case may be, there's usually severe damage to the boat. It's like a small car hitting a deer," he said.

Elia Herman of the Dolphin Institute said the baby humpback had a deep slash in front of its pectoral fin and a larger gash "where blubber was flapping" above the same fin. "It wasn't a pretty sight," she said.

"I wouldn't say it had no chance of survival, but it would take a lot of luck. The mom seemed to be doing the right kinds of things to keep it safe. We'll keep our fingers crossed."

The Dolphin Institute boat monitored the whales for about four hours, and Elia Herman was encouraged when the pod started traveling and the baby humpback became more active and was seen rolling around. The sharks didn't appear to have lingered, she said.

"We're out here studying these whales ... and when you see them being hurt as a result of humans it's always a really hard thing to see," she said.

Whale researchers find the most recent whale-boat collisions particularly troubling because they involved calves, which are more vulnerable to vessel strikes because they are inexperienced and must surface more frequently. "Like young children, they aren't always where they should be and they aren't always following along with their mothers and might wander into harm's way ...," Schofield said.

"We have two calves hit in basically same area of the body, near vital organs. Whether it's just one severe boat strike or five, it's the beginning of an alarming trend," he said.

NOAA's Office of Law Enforcement is investigating the earlier collisions, including one several weeks ago involving a Coast Guard vessel. The exact date of that incident was not immediately available.

A 20-foot-plus, rigid inflatable-hull Coast Guard vessel was returning from a routine case, traveling at less than 10 mph, when it "bumped" a whale about 200 yards from Coast Guard Station Maui at Ma'alaea Harbor, said Petty Officer Michael DeNyse. A seaman saw a whale moving away from the vessel and the crew scanned the water for blood but found none, he said. An internal investigation determined there was no damage to the boat and that the whale had not been injured, DeNyse said.

The other two collisions — Jan. 17 off Kaua'i and Jan. 2 off Maui — involved whale-watch boats.

NOAA deputy special agent Marc Cline said the enforcement office is shorthanded because of training and out-of-state cases, and he has not been able to launch an investigation yet into the latest collision. The Hawai'i office has only three agents and a uniformed officer, and they assist three others assigned to U.S.-related islands in the Pacific. Altogether, there are seven officers covering 10 million square miles of ocean, Cline said, with the expansive Northwestern Hawaiian Islands soon to be added to their jurisdiction.

An estimated 5,000 humpback whales visit Hawai'i annually to socialize, mate and calve. The majority arrive by mid-December and most leave by April for their summer feeding grounds in the north Pacific.

Humpback whales are protected by the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Vessels are required to maintain a distance of at least 100 yards. The majority of reported whale strikes are accidental and prosecutions are rare.

It has been estimated that only a quarter of the incidents are reported. Schofield said it's important that officials are immediately notified of boat collisions with whales so that crews can respond quickly to check the animals for injuries. In the case of the Pacific Whale Foundation incident, the captain reported the strike right away and a team got on the water within an hour and a half to find the injured calf.

Schofield said boaters should operate at slower speeds and use lookouts to spot surfacing whales and blows.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 03/17/2006 10:52 am - reply- forum

Subject: Shark Bite North Shore
To All:

A female surfer was attacked by a shark at about 11:30 a.m. at Leftovers Beach on the North Shore, according to city lifeguards.
The shark apparently bit the surfer's leg, said Bryan Cheplic, spokesman for city lifeguards, noting that the surfer was taken to Kahuku Hospital.

Cheplic said he didn't know the extent of the injury or which leg was bitten.

The beach, about one mile south of Waimea Bay, does not have a lifeguard, Cheplic said.

Lifeguards have posted shark-sighting warning signs between Laniakea and Waimea, Cheplic said. People are being advised to stay out of the area's water, which is still murky from recent rain runoff.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 03/23/2006 10:20 pm - reply- forum

Subject: Box Jellyfish invade
To All:

The city has closed Hanauma Bay due to influx of box jellyfish.
Lifeguards assessed the beach in the morning and decided to close the popular snorkeling area for the day, said Bryan Cheplic, a spokesman for the city Emergency Services Department. A count was not available, but officials said the number of the stinging jellyfish is expected to decrease significantly by Saturday.

"It's not a larger influx than usual," Cheplic said. "It's just the kona winds is contributing to the problem."

Box jellyfish sightings are common along Hawaii's south and west shores, especially eight to 10 days after the full moon.

More than 80 jellyfish were counted in the Waikiki area this morning, officials said. Warning signs will be posted in the affected areas.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 03/23/2006 10:28 pm - reply- forum

Subject: Safety of Whales
To All:

Recently published photographs showing graphic injuries to two humpback whale calves off Maui are raising questions about how to make the ocean safer for the endangered animals during their winter visits.

So far this year there have been five confirmed whale-boat collisions in Hawai'i, four off Maui and one off Kaua'i. Two of the incidents are known to have injured baby whales.

Officials said the five known collisions are the most on record in any single year.

"We understand how upset the public is when they see these kinds of images. We try to deal with all these things with the best available information," said Naomi McIntosh, manager of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. "Whether there are too many boats and that is the cause of the collisions we're seeing, it's hard to definitely say."

A 2003 report compiled for the sanctuary found accounts of 22 whale-vessel collisions between 1975 and 2003. Only two incidents were reported between 1975 and 1984, six between 1985 and 1994, and 14 between 1995 and 2003.

Experts agree that one likely cause for the increase in collisions is the growing presence of humpback whales in Hawai'i. Estimates of the state's humpback population range from 5,000 to 10,000, with an estimated annual growth rate of 7 percent in recent years.

Despite public perception, officials say there hasn't been a significant increase in tour boats — responsible for three of this year's collisions — as the whale population has increased.

The size of Hawai'i's tour boat fleet has long been restricted under state Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation administrative rules that limit how many commercial permits are issued at each of the state's harbors. A maximum of 30 commercial boating permits are allowed at Maui's Ma'alaea Harbor and 29 at Lahaina Harbor, the state's busiest ports for whale-watch cruises. Twelve permits are allowed at Port Allen and 10 at Nawiliwili on Kaua'i; 15 at Wai'anae on O'ahu; and 120 at the Big Island's Honokohau Harbor, where gamefishing prevails.

Commercial boat use of Maui's Mala and Kihei boat ramps are limited to 15 permits each.

The permits do not specify the type of commercial activity, so it is impossible to know how many boats are engaged in whale-watching during the December-to-May season.

A July 2000 report to NOAA's Marine Sanctuaries Division, based on a survey conducted during the 1999 season, showed that 52 vessels were involved in whale-watch activities statewide, making 87 trips daily and carrying 370,000 passengers a year. Two-thirds of the activity occurred in Maui County waters.

The 1999 survey "provided a baseline for what was happening seven years ago. Today, if you look at the information and limiting factors, such as availability of harbor slips to dock boats and natural business competition, my guess is that the change in the number of boats is not that drastic," McIntosh said.

Whales are protected by myriad federal and state laws, including a rule that requires boats to stay at least 100 yards away. Prosecutions for whale harassment or encroachment are rare, since most encounters are accidental, occurring when whales surface unexpectedly or swim up to vessels.

McIntosh and other federal marine managers and researchers say educational outreach, not regulation, is the best way to reduce the risk of whale-vessel collisions. Signs have been posted at state harbors reminding boaters to proceed cautiously during whale season, and the sanctuary hosted a 2003 workshop on whale-boat collisions with participants from federal and state agencies and fishing, tour and shipping interests.

Researcher Marc Lammers of the Oceanwide Science Institute on O'ahu co-wrote the 2003 analysis of whale-vessel collisions. Like other scientists and marine protection officials contacted by The Advertiser for this story, Lammers was reluctant to call for a reduction in the whale-watch fleet or other new rules without first giving a boater outreach campaign a chance to reduce collisions.

"I would hesitate to come out with a total ban or hard-core speed restrictions. It's a thorny issue and there would be a lot of resistance. We should start with a combination of outreach and guidelines that give greater protection to the most vulnerable," he said.

Since certain areas within Hawaiian waters are known to be particularly thick with whales, Lammers suggested slower speed limits through those areas and extra protections for mother-calf pairs, which are more susceptible to collisions. These could include increasing approach distances to give the whales wider berth.

Jeff Mikulina, head of the Sierra Club's Hawai'i Chapter, said restricting the number of whale-watch boats or prohibiting them altogether should be included in a range of options when discussing ways to reduce collisions. Although there are few studies on the effects of ocean tourism on whales, Mikulina said "intuitively, there's an impact."

"My heart just sinks (at news of whale-vessel collisions) and you think, 'Why are these boats in the water during calving season, particularly when you can see the whales from shore,' " he said.

The July 2000 report noted "the majority of scientists and managers who work with marine mammals believe that whale watching is not inherently damaging to whales. The prevailing thinking about whale watching is that the opportunity to educate and inform passengers about whales and conservation issues more than balances what little harassment-related impacts there might be to individual animals."

Most whale-watch cruises provide an on-board naturalist to educate passengers about humpbacks.

"Watching humpbacks in their natural habitat is an awesome experience for our guests. However, we feel it's our responsibility to not only respect the humpbacks by keeping a safe viewing distance, but to also enlighten people about these magnificent creatures," said Ron Williams, president and CEO of Atlantis Adventures, which runs Navatek whale-watch cruises from Aloha Tower. Navatek has never had a whale collision, the company said.

Terry O'Halloran, chairman of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary advisory council, said the panel has been looking at technological solutions, such as radar and sonar, that can pinpoint whale locations and provide real-time information to mariners. "But there isn't any silver bullet out there for this," he said.

"We're trying to find ways whales and boats can interact safely in sanctuary waters. That's our ultimate goal. Nobody who operates a boat wants to hit a whale," said O'Halloran, who has been involved in ocean tourism for 30 years on Kaua'i and represents business and commercial interests on the council.

NOAA's marine mammal response coordinator, Dave Schofield said propeller guards, used mostly by small boats, could be adapted to larger tour vessels to prevent serious injury to whales in a collision. Mandatory whale-avoidance classes for boaters is another idea, he said.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 03/27/2006 11:56 am - reply- forum

Subject: You can't even put your feet in the water!
To All:

'You can't even put your feet in the water'

By Eloise Aguiar
Advertiser Windward O'ahu Writer

WAIKIKI — After days of raw sewage spilling into the Ala Wai Canal, what many people feared the most happened yesterday as disappointed tourists read signs that warned them to stay out of the water at some of Waikiki's most famous beaches.

Amanda Gorry, of Australia, said people come to Hawai'i for the beaches, and she was disappointed that she couldn't put her infant's feet in the water.

"It's a real shame it's contaminated," Gorry said. "I feel sorry for the marine life."

Gorry's daughter, Caitlin, 17, said it was scary that you couldn't go in the water. Caitlin ignored the signs and waded in but a city official recommended that she stay out, the teenager said.

"You can't even put your feet in the water," she said.

State Health Department spokesman Kurt Tsue said warning signs went up at Kahanamoku and Fort DeRussy beaches in an area in front of the Hilton Hawaiian Village and the Hale Koa Hotel.

Tsue said a shift in winds apparently sent the sewage back toward Waikiki. A major sewer line rupture Friday has sent tens of millions of gallons of sewage into the Ala Wai Canal as city emergency crew worked around the clock to fix the break.

Signs already had been posted along the canal and at Magic Island.

More problems surfaced when the city announced another sewage spill at the Sand Island Wastewater Treatment Plant that occurred Tuesday night. About 108,000 gallons spilled there due to malfunctioning equipment. Some sewage was believed to have entered Honolulu Harbor. An investigation into that spill was under way.

By yesterday afternoon, engineers had completed repairs of the Kai'olu Street main and began pressurizing sewer lines. The last of five pumps that were used to divert untreated wastewater into the Ala Wai was shut down at 1:10 p.m., according to a news release from the city.

But even if the repair work holds, intermittent bypasses may be required that would dump sewage into the canal until some time today. And if heavy rain hits the area again, even more sewage would have to be dumped into the canal.

The city can't risk putting too much stress on the newly repaired Waikiki line while it is still hardening and curing, said Eric Takamura, director of the city Environmental Services.

"This is not as simple as flicking a light switch," Takamura said in a press release.

City spokesman Mark Matsunaga said the city is investigating if nearby pile driving associated with recent construction in Waikiki cracked the sewer main. The city asked the contractor working on nearby Launiu Street to hold off on pile driving until tomorrow while the repairs were completed, Matsunaga said.

As the city prepared to bring the repaired force main on line yesterday morning, signs warning people to stay out of the water were being posted at the Waikiki beaches.

Crews posted 103 signs warning of sewage contamination along a 1-mile stretch of coastline from Magic Island and the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor, past the heliport, the Hilton Hawaiian Village pier, all the way to the Fort DeRussy Beach fronting Hale Koa Hotel.

Matsunaga said the city is translating the warning signs into Japanese.

Watson Okubo, of the Department of Health, also advised surfers and swimmers to stay out of these surf spots: Ala Moana Bowls, Rock Pile, Kaiser's, Kewalo's and Fours.

"That stretch is terrible. That water is nasty," Okubo said. "So people should stay out of there."

Tourists at the beach in front of the Hilton said they were very disappointed about the contamination and they weren't too happy about the weather, either.

"The first thing we noticed on our first day Sunday was that there were more ponchos than lei," said Michael Wong, from Vancouver, British Columbia. Wong and Calvin Mah, also of Vancouver, said they tried to make light of the situation and vowed to have fun anyway.

"It's forced us to find the seedier side of Hawai'i," Wong joked.

High bacteria counts from samples taken on Sunday were the reason the Waikiki beaches were closed, said Okubo, chief of the DOH monitoring and analysis section.

"The results were significantly elevated from the previous day," he said while checking signs with city officials at Duke Kahana-moku Beach near the Hilton Hawaiian Village. "The clostridium data also increased. It told me there is fecal contamination making its way down this side."

The department looks at Clostridium perfringens counts in conjunction with enterococci counts to determine if action must be taken. Samples collected Monday at Hilton Lagoon and Hale Koa contained an estimated 1,700 forming colonies of enterococci per 100 milliliters of water. That is far above the state's acceptable level of 7 forming colonies per 100 milliliters of water. On Tuesday, the number dropped to 320 forming colonies at the Hilton and 100 at Hale Koa.

About 100 people were on the beach in front of the Hilton hotel late yesterday morning and everyone was heeding the signs.

Leona Bix, of Arizona, had brought her mother, Hildegard Hakos, of Arizona, to Hawai'i as a gift upon retirement. They praised the beaches and didn't like that they couldn't go in the water, but said the weather was their big disappointment.

"The beaches are great but the weather hasn't been," Bix said. "But it's not like you can order that up."

A snorkel and mask rental business was suffering because of the weather and the contamination, said Kaai Bruhn, of Waikiki Beach Activities.

Bruhn said he feels sorry for the tourists who aren't able to take full advantage of the waters because of the contamination. Getting to Hawai'i isn't easy or cheap and it's a long way to come for everyone, so when something like this happens the visitors suffers, he said.

"I talk to some families and this is the only vacation they can afford their whole life," Bruhn said.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 03/30/2006 01:39 pm - reply- forum

Subject: Effectiveness of Hawaii's Department of Health
To All:

A Waikiki man who had been battling a massive bacterial infection since he fell or was pushed into the sewage-tainted waters at the Ala Wai Boat Harbor died about 9:15 last night at The Queen's Medical Center, the city Department of the Medical Examiner said this morning.
The remains of Oliver Johnson were turned over to the Medical Examiner's office and an examination — or possibly a complete autopsy — is scheduled for later this morning.

Stefany Sofos, a close friend, said Johnson never regained consciousness after he was placed into a medically induced coma on Sunday to help his body battle the infection.

Johnson's mother arrived from Florida earlier this week to be with her son, and one of his brothers who lives in Cincinnati and who had been vacationing in North Carolina flew in yesterday and went straight to the hospital, Sofos said.

"This is such a tragedy on so many different levels," Sofos said. "He just kept getting worse and worse."

Johnson initially said he had fallen into the harbor Friday night but later indicated he was involved in a fight aboard a boat at the harbor and was pushed or thrown into the harbor, which had been contaminated by raw sewage when the city diverted an estimated 48 million gallons of untreated effluent into the Ala Wai Canal after a sewer main burst in Waikiki. City workers dumped the raw sewage into the canal to keep it from backing up into Waikiki apartments and hotel rooms.

Health experts are split in their opinions as to whether or to what extent Johnson's fall into the polluted water may have led to the bacterial infection that caused or contributed to his death.

Comment: This is not the first instance of flesh-eating bacteria infecting those who dip into the waters of the Ala Wai Canal. This time, the Honolulu Police are considering a murder investigation, since the man was pushed into the canal.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 04/07/2006 04:27 pm - reply- forum

Subject: Mother's Response to Death of Son!
To All:

'Horrible, horrible death' by infection •
Woman blames infection on contaminated waters

By Beverly Creamer and Loren Moreno
Advertiser Staff Writers

As he lay dying, Oliver Johnson's body was so ravaged by disease that his mother couldn't even hold his hand, which had swollen to three times its normal size and was covered with huge blisters.

"The only thing you could really hold was a finger," Friederike Boszko said yesterday in an anguished description of her youngest son's last days.

The effects of the flesh-eating bacteria that killed Johnson after a plunge in the sewage-tainted Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor a week ago were so horrifying, "it was difficult to recognize him as a human being," said Boszko as she sat with her eldest son in the office of attorney Jim Leavitt.

The family has retained the attorney to investigate the circumstances of the 34-year-old mortgage broker's death.

The family said that at this point they don't want to assign blame and they are cooperating with a homicide investigation by police.

"We want to know the truth of what happened and the sequence of events," said Boszko, 61, of Boca Raton, Fla. "I want to know what caused this. It was not only a death, it was a horrible, horrible death."

She said no one should ever have to suffer what her son did.

"When I saw him, I refused to believe what I saw," she said. "His head was so huge and swollen ... , I can't describe what an unbelievable, nightmarish shock it was. In my whole life, in science fiction movies, I've never seen anything like it."

Leonard Johnson, 41, said he could only recognize his younger brother from the eyes up — and even then, his eyelids, head, neck and even his earlobes were swollen far beyond normal size.

"You couldn't believe it was the same boy," he said.

Oliver Johnson died about 9:15 p.m. Thursday at The Queen's Medical Center after his family decided to remove him from life support.


The Honolulu medical examiner's office said he died of multisystem organ failure due to septic shock brought on by a Vibrio vulnificus bacterial infection.

Dr. Kanthi De Alwis, chief medical examiner, said the bacterial infection was in his foot. He also suffered from chronic alcoholic liver disease, which contributed to the flesh-eating infection's ability to take hold.

The medical examiner is still investigating whether injuries to his foot and blunt-force trauma to his face resulted from assault or from an accident.

Leavitt said his office will look into all the facts — and attempting to distinguish fact from rumor — before any decisions are made about taking legal action. But, he said, "it seems fairly clear to me that had the sewage spill not occurred, he'd still be alive."

The Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor was contaminated when the city diverted an estimated 48 million gallons of raw sewage into the Ala Wai Canal after a sewer main burst in Waikiki.

Health experts are split in their opinions about whether Johnson's plunge into the harbor might have caused or contributed to his death.

But De Alwis said that Vibrio vulnificus is normally seen in warm bodies of water and not necessarily sewage-contaminated water.

"People who have alcoholic liver disease — or chronic liver disease — are more vulnerable to getting disseminated infection from this bacteria once it gets into the system," De Alwis said.

Nevertheless, Johnson's family called on government officials to make the waters safe. "We want to make sure nobody else ventures into that water until it's deemed safe," said his brother.

He said signs with large, bold lettering should be posted.

"If that (sewage) caused what I saw in my brother, nobody needs to go through that again. Nobody wants to ever see that happen to another person."

State Health Department officials say this case hasn't changed the way waters are tested or how contamination signs are posted.

However, Dr. Sarah Park, deputy chief of the department's Disease Outbreak Control Division, said the department is rethinking how it educates the public about proper wound care. Cleaning a wound properly decreases the amount of bacteria and the danger it poses.

Police have received conflicting information about the events that landed Johnson in the harbor and, ultimately, in the hospital.

Johnson told police he had been assaulted. Friends said that occurred after he had been drinking in a bar near the harbor. Later, reports emerged that Johnson might have been on a boat.

Police have talked to a man who said he was in a fight with Johnson on the night he ended up in the harbor, said Michelle Yu, Honolulu Police Department spokeswoman. However, the man told police that he did not throw or push Johnson into the water, Yu said.

Police and Leavitt urge anyone with information on the case to come forward.

Thursday night, as the family made the decision to remove Johnson from life support, his heart, liver and kidneys had shut down, his intestines were eaten up by bacteria, his bowels rupturing. One leg had been amputated, and doctors had cut a gaping hole from his breastbone down through his stomach, exposing his intestines in an attempt to counteract swelling so a ventilator could keep him breathing. The swelling was so intense, it was impossible to know the condition of his brain, said his brother, and he couldn't be stabilized enough to do a CT scan.

"His condition was so unbearably horrible, with a colostomy bag, being on kidney support for the rest of his life, having maybe no legs and maybe only one arm. I cannot imagine he would have wanted to live that way," said his mother. "And with no guarantee that he doesn't have brain damage or doesn't have to be on a ventilator for the rest of his life."

They couldn't bear that for the young man who was always comfortable striking up conversations with strangers — the kind of friend who brought others together for events.

Six years ago, he followed a college girlfriend to Hawai'i. She returned to the Mainland two years later, but he stayed because he had fallen in love with "the kindness and the lifestyle" of Hawai'i's people, said his mother.

Her son was an outgoing person, said Boszko. "You'd be sitting on a park bench eating a sandwich and he'd come up to you and start a conversation. And not a silly conversation," she said.

"He was just a very outgoing, social person. A connector of people. He was not the kind to read a book in one night."


His brother remembered how he'd be the one to arrange the beach barbecue, the event that brought people together.

"He brought different people together to enjoy life. That was him. He's always been that way. Never hateful. And he never treated anybody with bias. He just took every individual as what they were."

Oliver Johnson's close friend, Stephany Sofos, agreed.

She met him three years ago through work. They quickly forged a close friendship, she said.

"He was a very talkative, charming guy," she said. "Anywhere I went with him, within an hour he would have 10 people as his new friends," she said.

Sofos said the sense of loss she feels can be likened to losing a finger: "You can still use the hand, but it's just not the same."

Of all her memories of Johnson, Sofos said she will cherish the most their early Sunday morning surf trips.

"We would have the best time. We would walk in the park and we'd stop at a bar, have some pupus, have some drinks and walk home. We would laugh because we kept saying to each other, 'We got to talk to our doctors because we're exercising all the time but we're gaining weight.' That was the kind of guy he was — just so funny," she said.

"It makes me sad. This is such a tragedy."


Once Johnson discovered surfing as a boy, that became his passion.

Boszko remembered how in Florida he'd insist she come to the beach to take pictures of him on the waves.

"He would always tell me, 'Mom, go with me, take your camera,' and I would have to wade in the water and go 'OK, where is he? I can't see him.'

"I said, 'How can you like this, having the water all the time?' And he said, 'Oh, Mom, it's the greatest thing ever.' "

With seven years between Oliver and Leonard, the two bonded in the younger man's senior year of high school.

Oliver had joined the wrestling team and Leonard remembers how the two of them worked out and trained together that entire year.

It was a peak experience.

"He came in second place in the state championships," said Leonard, fighting back tears. "The next day my son was born."

Boszko's third son, John, 38, was expected to arrive in Honolulu shortly.

The family has not yet made any decisions about a funeral.

"I feel numb," said his mother. "You can cry and cry and cry and cry and you still feel the same. You don't feel any relief."

Comment: Anyone want to try their luck in the waters off Waikiki Beach? Anyone trust the state of Hawaii's Department of Health? By the way, Honolulu is also known as the Cesspool Capitol of the World!

# Posted by harry at 04/08/2006 02:25 pm - reply- forum

Subject: Pigs Invade Manoa
To All:

Feral pigs descend on Manoa neighborhood

By Rod Ohira
Advertiser Staff Writer

Yes, Manoa, you've got pigs.

More specifically, feral pigs.

Approximately 150 to 200 Manoa residents attended a town meeting Wednesday night to express their concerns about feral pigs invading backyard gardens, causing erosion on the forest floor and hiking trails around the valley.

For several weeks, seven "Got Pigs?" roadside signs have been posted around the valley to announce the meeting.

The pigs are a problem the residents would like to deal with in a humane way before serious damage is done.

Mandy Bowers, a valley resident for nearly 50 years, said people living on Huelani Drive in East Manoa are worried about hillside damage.

"They tear up the ground on the hillside so nothing can grow," Bowers said. "Earth and lots of rocks come down with the water (during heavy rainfall) and it's blocking the drainage areas. The pigs are an invasive species and they're tearing up the native forest and uplands."

Doug Friend, a Woodlawn Terrace Place resident, said pigs digging for worms have uprooted his flowers twice in three weeks, most recently three days ago. "My major concern is they are disturbing the soil (in the forest) and that they're coming across the street to Woodlawn Terrace Place now," he said.

Patrick Costales, the state Forestry and Natural Wildlife Division O'ahu branch manager, said while he's excited to help find solutions for the pig problem, he does not believe the pigs are to blame for landslides that occurred during last months heavy rains on Round Top Drive and in Manoa.

"If you look at what was the big difference, it's the amount of rain and the duration," Costales said. "Nature is doing its thing. It's the function of slopes, rainfall, soil and gravity. Pigs contributed a little but not to the landslides."

To make his point, Costales noted a normal, short period of heavy rain would not cause the number of slides that occurred last month. "Nothing changed; the forest cover didn't change," Costales added. "In my 33 years of experience, I've never seen seen that amount of rain (as last month)."

Costales hopes to present a plan for a controlled hunt, which will not involve firearms, to residents by June. He favors a hunt that will also include a nonlethal alternative such as box traps.

"It's a complex issue but my take is we can come up with some ideas to bring back to the community," he said.

The last time the area addressed the feral pig problem was from May 2004 to July 2004 and November 2004 through January 2005. Jason Sumiye, Ko'olau Mountain Watershed Partnership coordinator, organized the controlled hunt that stretched from Makiki to Manoa. A limited number of hunters were given permits to hunt on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with knives and dogs only. Twenty-one pigs were killed in 27 total hunting days during the two periods, said Sumiye, who attended Wednesday's meeting.

Because officials don't know the actual number of feral pigs in the area, it's hard to determine the effects of controlled hunts, Sumiye said.

"You have to hit a large number of the population, 80 percent, to keep it down," Sumiye added, noting that pigs reproduce rapidly. "Trying to control them takes quite a bit of work. We can scare them so they won't wallow in one place."

Until recently, Elizabeth McCutcheon, a Woodlawn Terrace resident, never had a problem in the 43 years she's lived in the area. Pigs have just started coming into her yard and garden. Her concern is mostly for her pet cat.

"I'm not sure why they're coming down this far but my next-door neighbor had a whole family of pigs — a mother and father and three babies — camping in their yard under a tree," McCutcheon said. The neighbor used a box trap to capture the pigs alive and have them removed, she added.

An adult feral pig weighs a couple of hundred pounds and is dangerous, especially if a mother thinks her piglets are being threatened, Costales noted. He advises anyone who sees a pig to move away from it.

Rep. Kirk Caldwell, D-24th (Manoa-Manoa Valley-University), was one of three area lawmakers who organized the meeting at Manoa Innovation Center. "Most want the pigs removed but in a humane way," Caldwell said. City Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi and state Sen. Brian Taniguchi, D-10th (Manoa-Mo'ili'ili-McCully-Makiki), co-sponsored the meeting. Also attending the meeting were Ed Johnson, state hunting coordinator; Ethan Shiinoki, acting state wildlife biologist, and Na Ala Hele Trail specialist Aaron Lowe.

Comment: How many states have pig invasion problems?

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 04/14/2006 03:00 pm - reply- forum

Subject: The boys are back in town!
To All:

Cruising sharks close O'ahu beaches

Advertiser Staff

City lifeguards posted signs warning from Lanikea to Chun's Reef on O'ahu's North Shore this afternoon after a half-dozen sharks were spotted cruising two different locations.
At 1:30 p.m. this afternoon, surfers and lifeguards spotted two 13-foot sharks and two sharks measuring between 6 and 8 feet cruising near Chun's Reef and Piddleys.

At the time of the sighting, about 10 surfers and swimmers were in the water and half of them swam to shore after lifeguards announced the sharks' arrival with bullhorns.

Shortly after the sighting at Chun's Reef, lifeguards spotted several other sharks near Lanikea, prompting lifeguards to deploy on jet skis to chase people out of the water.

Lifeguards put up signs warning swimmers to stay out of the water but did not close the beach or force swimmers to come in.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 05/22/2006 09:54 pm - reply- forum

Subject: North Shore Shark Entree: Free Diver
To All:

A 29-year-old man was taken to Wahiawa General Hospital this afternoon after he was bitten by a shark, EMS personnel said.

The man was at the North Shore surf spot known as Marijuanas near Chun's Reef when he suffered minor lacerations to his left forearm at about 1:30 p.m., said EMS spokesman Bryan Cheplic.

After he was bit the man, who was free diving, was able to whack the shark with the butt of a spear gun before swimming to shore.

City lifeguards posted warning signs from Laniakea to Waimea Bay that will remain up until morning.

Lifeguards will patrol the beaches along that stretch until nightfall and will reassess the situation in the morning.

Comment: The North Shore has experienced quite a few shark attacks lately!

# Posted by harry at 05/31/2006 09:27 pm - reply- forum

Subject: Since 1990: 57 shark attacks
To All:

Immediately after a shark bites a person in Hawaii waters, people tend to be more vigilant about spotting sharks, experts say.

"It always happens that when sharks make the news, people start paying more attention," said Randy Honebrink, of the state Division of Aquatic Resources. "And when they do that, they see more sharks."

Whether the number of sharks is increasing is not clear, he said. "We know there's a lot of them out there" because researchers have no trouble catching sharks to tag them for tracking, Honebrink said. "And we know for the most part they leave people alone."

For the most part, but not entirely.

From 1990 through March, the Hawaii Shark Task Force has recorded 57 shark attacks on people or their gear (usually a surfboard), an average of three to four a year. Forty-six of the attacks resulted in injuries, and five in death. Only one year (1998) had no recorded shark attacks. The year with the most attacks recorded by the task force (eight) was 2002.

Five deaths by shark in Hawaii waters have been listed by the task force since 1990: surfer Willis McInnis at Kahana, Maui, in 2004; kayaker Nahid Davoodabai, west of Maui in 1999; body-boarder Aaron Romento at Keaau Beach Park, Oahu, in 1992; body-boarder Bryan Adona at Leftovers, near Waimea Bay, Oahu, in 1992; and snorkeler Martha Morrell at Olowalu, Maui, in 1991.

In the latest incident, Ronald Deguilmo, 29, was spearfishing Wednesday when he was bitten in the arm by a shark at the Leftovers surf spot between Waimea Bay and Laniakea. He was listed as stable by his doctor yesterday.

Visiting surfer Liz Dunn, 28, was bitten in her left leg while surfing in murky conditions at Leftovers on March 24.

Some have questioned whether an increase in sea turtles on the North Shore could be leading to an increase in sharks, said George Balazs, lead sea turtle researcher for the National Marine Fisheries Service. Tiger sharks are known to eat turtles, though it is not known how often, he said. "So if you have more turtles, you could have more tiger sharks."

The number of green sea turtles has been increasing since they were listed as a threatened species in 1978.

Another question people have asked is whether boat tours that throw fish to attract sharks to underwater cages for tourists could be drawing sharks in. State law forbids feeding sharks in state waters, which is out to three miles from shore, said Gary Moniz, head of Department of Land and Natural Resources conservation officers.

Conservation officers have at times checked on boats that were closer to shore than that, Moniz said, and "they've been in compliance" with the no-feeding rule. The boats are free to be in state waters and to put their observation cages underwater, as long as there is no feeding of sharks, he said.

Safety advice to stay clear of sharks
Ten safety tips to reduce the risk of shark injury:

1. Swim, surf or dive with other people, and don't move too far away from assistance.

2. Stay out of the water at dawn, dusk and night, when some species of sharks move inshore to feed.

3. Do not enter the water if you have open wounds or are bleeding in any way. Sharks can detect blood and body fluids in extremely small concentrations.

4. Avoid murky waters, harbor entrances and areas near stream mouths (especially after heavy rain), channels or steep drop-offs. These types of waters are known to be frequented by sharks.

5. Do not wear high-contrast clothing or shiny jewelry. Sharks see contrast very well.

6. Refrain from excessive splashing; keep pets, which swim erratically, out of the water. Sharks are known to be attracted to such activity.

7. Do not enter the water if sharks are known to be present, and leave the water quickly and calmly if one is sighted. Do not provoke or harass a shark, even a small one.

8. If fish or turtles start to behave erratically, leave the water. Be alert to the presence of dolphins, as they are prey for some large sharks.

9. Remove speared fish from the water or tow them a safe distance behind you. Do not swim near people fishing or spearfishing. Stay away from dead animals in the water.

10. Swim or surf at beaches patrolled by lifeguards, and follow their advice.

Source: Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 06/02/2006 02:36 pm - reply- forum

Subject: Twice the Number of Sharks Sighted!
To All:

Reports of sharks double on N. Shore

By Will Hoover
Advertiser North Shore Writer

Shark sightings on O'ahu's North Shore have hit a three-year high so far this year, with more than twice the number of shark encounters and sightings as the surfing mecca had in all of 2005.

Surfers, swimmers and beach-goers have reported seeing more sharks cruising the shores of Waimea Bay, invading surf lineups at other beaches, and snatching sea turtles from the ocean.

"In my almost 40 years of surfing on the North Shore, this is the most shark sightings and encounters I have heard of," said resident Mike Takahashi, who is worried about the safety of his ocean-active family.

A North Shore spearfisher and a surfer have been bitten in separate shark attacks. That compares to one similar incident on the North Shore last year, and none during the previous seven years.

"I can tell you there have been a lot more confirmed cases this year than last year — or any other year for that matter," said veteran North Shore lifeguard Capt. Bodo Van Der Leeden of the city's Ocean Safety/Lifeguard Division.

"This year, we've had more than a dozen shark sightings and encounters. In 2005 we had a half dozen. In 2004 we had two or three."

Van Der Leeden said these things seem to run in cycles. He recalls a rash of similar sightings, encounters and attacks and one death in the early 1990s.

But, "there's even more now. We're hearing it from surfers we know we can trust. And quite a few have been witnessed by lifeguards."

Ralph Goto, water safety administrator with the city's Ocean Safety Division, said a sighting doesn't necessarily mean a particular type of shark was in the water.

If the sighting is confirmed, the city along with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources will post warning signs, he said. Confirmed sightings normally come from lifeguards or other reliable sources such as fishermen or divers.

About a month after former lifeguard Michael Cheape helped respond to the spearfisher who was bitten on May 31, he had his own close encounter with what looked like an 8- to 10-foot tiger shark near Waimea Bay.

"I was on a 12-foot paddleboard and I looked at the right, and about 2 feet below the surface I could see the head coming at me."

An instant later, the shark had flipped him over and knocked him off the board. It was deliberate, said Cheape, who got back on the board and paddled to safety.

Lifelong North Shore resident Alan Sitt lives across from Sunset Beach and said he has heard about more shark sightings in the past year than he has in his whole life.

Last week, one of Sitt's friends was paddling at Kammieland and saw a shark appear nearby and snatch a sea turtle from the water (one of three such turtle incidents reported to Van Der Leeden in the past two months).

Why so many shark sightings?

"When people start seeing sharks, the word gets out and people start looking for them," said shark expert Randy Honebrink of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources' Division of Aquatic Resources. "And the more you look for them, the more you see them."

During the 1990s, a shark sighting hot line had more reports when sharks were in the news and fewer when they were not, Honebrink said.

"We know that sharks are out there, and the fact that someone saw something doesn't really mean anything. There is no correlation between sightings and reports of bites," Honebrink said.

Although Honebrink opposes feeding sharks, he has doubts that the North Shore's two tour companies have much to do with the increased shark sightings.

Neither does Jimmy Hall, owner of Hawaii Shark Encounters. The company has guides with several years of experience in the business.

For about $100 a trip, Hall's company puts shark-watching snorklers in a steel cage about three miles off shore, where the water is 500 feet deep. Once the snorklers are in the cage, the company tosses bait into the water and soon, the snorklers are surrounded by sharks, mainly Galapagos and sand bar sharks.

"If anything, we'd be attracting sharks away from the shore," said Hall, who insists his tour boats couldn't possibly influence the behavior of sharks seen closer to shore.

Sylvia Thompson of Tucson, Ariz., took the tour recently and found it fascinating. The sharks were not aggressive, Thompson said, and there was never a sense that she was in danger.

"I know the debate is going on — that the food is bringing the sharks closer to shore, and there are some who say it desensitizes sharks to humans," she said.

But she said tour people told her crabbers have been throwing scraps in the same waters for 40 years, and it hasn't affected shark activities nearer to shore.

Honebrink said it's difficult to figure what causes sharks to come around. But he said there's a good chance they'll go away again.

"Sometimes you have years when more people get bit," he said. "Sometimes you have years when people see more sharks.

"And then, it just kind of goes back to normal again. That's just what happens. I don't know that there's any way to explain it."

Comment: Oahu's visitor beaches are on the South Shore. North Shore beaches are were the surfers hangout.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 07/04/2006 08:22 am - reply- forum

Subject: Feeding the Sharks?
To All:



Your recent article noted the frequency of shark sightings in Hawai'i had doubled this year to a three-year high. Further, a Department of Land and Natural Resources "shark expert" attributes more sightings to more "people looking for them." Both he and a local shark dive boat operator "doubt that feeding sharks has much to do with the increased sightings."

Well, I'm no rocket scientist but I am a surfer with more than 40 years of real-world experience. Feeding sharks is a danger to public safety. Surfers are always "looking for them" and have seen a lot more since the feedings began.

The city or state should stop the shark-feeding operations. Florida stopped it. Don't you want to know why? Why can't we stop it?

If we are unable to stop the shark feeding, despite the numerous warnings of the dangers posed, there at least appears to be an obligation to let the public know exactly where sharks are being fed by posted warning signs. That way, people can make an informed decision on choosing to be in the water near aggregations of sharks that have been taught to associate people in the water with food.

B. Phillips

Comment: How stupid can the state's bureaucrats become? Feeding the sharks to promote tourism?

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 07/07/2006 10:47 am - reply- forum

Subject: Shark's Russian Roulette
To All:

Shark sighting brings postings at Ali'i Beach

Advertiser Staff

Ocean Safety officials posted signs at Ali'i Beach Park in Hale'iwa today warning the public of a shark sighting in the area.

The signs were posted at 10:50 a.m. but the beach was not closed, said city Department of Emergency Services spokesman Bryan Cheplic.

Comment: Another North Shore beach closed! It is getting to be like Russian Roulette where surfers gamble on which beach the shark will leave alone.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 07/10/2006 08:38 pm - reply- forum

Subject: Box Jellyfish Invade!
To All:

Influx of box jellyfish closes Hanauma Bay

Advertiser Staff

Hanauma Bay closed today at 11 a.m. after 14 box jellyfish stings were reported within an hour.
Paramedics transported three people to the hospital for allergic reactions to the stings, said Bryan Cheplic, public information officer for the Honolulu Emergency Services Dept. A possible fourth hospital transport may be underway for a 4-year-old girl who was stung at a beach in Ko'olina.

The Ocean Safety Division is issuing a box jelly warning for today and tomorrow. A news release today said that there were more than 1,000 jellyfish picked up early this morning in Waikiki.

"There was a substantial amount" of stings in Waikiki this morning, Cheplic said. "We can't close Waikiki Beach, but we did put up signs."

According to Cheplic, Hanauma Bay was closed this morning because they could lock the entrance gate to keep people from going to the bay, but that's not the case for Waikiki.

Other near-shore waters that have been affected include Poka'i Bay, Makaha Surfing Beach, and Waimea bay.

There has also been occasional sightings and or stings on other north and west shore beaches.

The Ocean Safety Division advises anyone who is stung by a jellyfish to flush the area of the body that was stung with copious amounts of white vinegar. Anyone experiencing breathing difficulty, muscle cramps, spasms, and/or persistent pain are advised to seek immediate medical attention.

Lifeguard stations are supplied and equipped to treat this type of marine sting.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 07/20/2006 08:15 pm - reply- forum

Subject: South Swells
To All:

High surf advisory in effect for south shores

Advertiser Staff

A high surf advisory was issued at 6 a.m. today for the south shores of all islands. A southern summer swell is expected to brings waves of up to 11 feet by this evening and through tomorrow.
The large summer swell is expected to peak tonight and tomorrow then slowly lower Wednesday. A second southern swell is expected to arrive midweek and stay through the weekend.

Beachgoers are advised to stay out of the water and away from the shorebreak due to the hazardous waves and the potential for strong rip currents.

Surf will be 4 to 6 feet along east-facing shores, 4 to 7 feet along west shores and 2 feet or less along north shores.

Comment: For those unfamiliar with Oahu, the South Swells are the huge summer waves that affect the South side of the island (Pearl Harbor and Waikiki side). The huge, surf-competition waves arrive in the winter (February) to the North Shore (Sunset and Waimea).

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 07/31/2006 02:15 pm - reply- forum

Subject: Jellyfish Advisory Out
To All:

Jellyfish expected to hit several beaches tomorrow

Advertiser Staff

A box jellyfish advisory has been issued for tomorrow and Friday.

The Ocean Safety Division said those who are allergic or do not wish to be stung should avoid the possibility by staying out of the water.

Waikiki Beach, especially the "pond" areas ewa of the Kapahulu groin, is the most commonly affected area.

Other places that might have the stinging ocean creatures include Hanauma Bay, Pokai Bay, Makaha Surfing Beach and Waimea Bay.

Lifeguards will assess the beaches and post warning signs as needed. Their stations are equipped to treat stings.

Comment: Where else on Earth do you find Jellyfish Advisories?

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 08/16/2006 07:13 pm - reply- forum

Subject: Jellyfish Invasion Has Commenced
To All:

Box jellyfish hitting O'ahu beaches

Advertiser Staff

A box jellyfish advisory remains in effect today at beaches around O'ahu. By 10 a.m., up to 300 box jellyfish had been counted at Waikiki Beach. The Ocean Safety Division is posting signs and warning beachgoers to stay out of the water.
Waikiki Beach is the most commonly affected area. Hanauma Bay, Pokai Bay, Makaha Surfing Beach and Waimea bay are also affected by the influx of box jellyfish. There has also been occasional sightings and or stings on other north and west shore beaches.

The box jellyfish influx is expected to drop off tomorrow, said Bryan Cheplic, Honolulu Emergency Services spokesman.

Ocean Safety officials said if you are stung, flush the sting area with copious amounts of white vinegar. Anyone experiencing breathing difficulty, muscle cramps/spasms, and/or persistent pain are advised to seek immediate medical attention.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 08/18/2006 10:10 pm - reply- forum

Subject: Large Shark off Waikiki Beach
To All:

Posted at 8:45 a.m., Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Surfer reports large shark 75 yards off shore in Waikiki

Advertiser Staff

Police at his hour are checking out a report that a large shark was spotted in waters of the Army Museum at Fort DeRussy in Waikiki.
A surfer reported the sighting and said the shark was about 75 yards from shore.

He estimated that shark was about 11 feet long.

Comment: I bet he's hungry too!

# Posted by harry at 09/20/2006 02:02 pm - reply- forum

Subject: Advisory Postponed
To All:

Posted at 7:10 a.m., Friday, September 22, 2006

Good surf sticking around, particularly on south shores

Advertiser Staff

The surf has gone down a couple notches from the advisory levels earlier this week, but there are still plenty of good rides to be had today, especially along O'ahu's east and south shores.
The National Weather Service forecast calls for surf of up to 6 feet along east-facing shores and up to 5 feet along the south shore.

Elsewhere, it will be 2 to 4 feet along the west shore and 2 feet or less along the north shoreline.

Forecasters expect just a bit of an increase in the south-southwest swell later today, one that will continue through the weekend. In addition, a small Northwest swell is due to arrive on Wednesday. But, don't expect anything major along any of the shorelines in the immediate future.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 09/22/2006 01:32 pm - reply- forum

Subject: Shark Boats
To All:

Here is a lovely Letter to the Editor for beachgoers:



Imagine this: You're out at Hale'iwa catching a few waves, when out in the channel you notice a fishing boat approaching. No problem, you say.

But, this is no ordinary boat. It's a shark dive charter boat with a monstrous steel cage hanging off the back. You notice not just one of these boats, but two and three coming and going in and out of the marina, all day long. No problem, you say. The boats are supposedly taking divers three miles offshore to view the sharks up close and personal.

These boat operators deposit large amounts of bloody chum into a shark feeding area to lure the sharks. The divers are then suspended into the ocean inside the relative safety of those monstrous steel cages.

That's a long way out, you say. The feeding activity should be at a safe distance from public beaches.

But, to a stimulated shark that's been conditioned to associate these boats and their human feeders with a food source, three miles isn't far enough, unless, of course, the state wants to install shark nets to protect the public.

B. Phillips

Comment: Nothing like tempting death ... of course, the shark boat people know better than to swim where they feed sharks.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 10/09/2006 06:36 am - reply- forum

Subject: 18-foot Waves!
To All:

Surf could hit 18 feet on North Shore today

Advertiser Staff

The National Weather Service has issued a high surf advisory for all north-facing shores where wave faces are expected to reach
10 to 15 feet this morning, and then climb to 14 to 18 feet this afternoon.

Surf along west-facing shores is also on the way up and is expected to reach to 4 to 8 feet this morning, and increase to 8 to 10 feet this afternoon.

Surf along eastern shores will rise to 3 to 5 feet today while surf along south-facing shores will rise to 5 to 7 feet today.

An increasing swell from the north-northwest will bring surf above advisory levels to the north shore today, with surf slowly dropping on Thursday. A new northwest swell on Friday will likely peak below advisory levels, and then drop over the weekend.

A pair of south swells are expected, peaking near advisory levels late today and again on Saturday

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 10/18/2006 03:21 pm - reply- forum

Subject: Wespac Wants Ban on Shark Feeding
To All:

Fishery panel recommends end to shark feeding

By Curtis Lum
Advertiser Staff Writer

An advisory panel that oversees fishing in federal waters has approved a proposal that would ban shark feeding as a way to attract sharks to commercial tour boats.

The recommendation by the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council must still be approved by the secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce. If approved, the measure would prohibit the practice of feeding or chumming for sharks in waters three miles offshore of the Hawaiian Islands.

The proposed measure would still allow chumming in conjunction with fishing or traditional Hawaiian cultural or religious practices.

The measure could have an adverse impact on two Hale'iwa businesses that offer shark viewing tours on the North Shore. State law already prohibits shark feeding in waters up to three miles offshore.

Comment: Finally, some common sense emerges from the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council.

# Posted by harry at 10/23/2006 07:45 pm - reply- forum

Subject: Flesh Eating Bacteria
To All:

Flesh-eating case feared on Maui

Officials should know today whether a 61-year-old landscaper has been hospitalized with necrotizing fasciitis, the island's first case this year

By Gary T. Kubota

WAILUKU » State health officials are investigating whether a man admitted to Maui Memorial Medical Center has contracted a flesh-eating disease.

Department of Health spokeswoman Janice Okubo said officials should know by today whether the man has necrotizing fasciitis.

Okubo said if the man has the infection, it will be the first incident on Maui this year.

Ron Lemay, 61, was in the critical-care unit at Maui Memorial Medical Center after being admitted Tuesday for a streptococcus infection, said his brother John.

He had not been able to talk with his brother, but did speak to him about a week ago. "He was fine," John Lemay said.

He said he did not know how his brother got the infection.

Ron Lemay, who had moved from Massachusetts, was working on the Valley Isle as a landscaper, John said.

Okubo said the infection was from blood group A streptococcus and one of the subtypes of necrotizing fasciitis.

Flesh-eating cases were last reported on Maui in 2002, when three people died of the infection and three others survived within a three-month period. Those figures were within the statistical probabilities of one to five infections per 100,000 population, according to an infectious-disease specialist at Maui Memorial Medical Center.

One of the main symptoms is feeling more pain than expected around a cut or bruise, with a high fever.

Health officials say people should also look out for a painful infection around the cut that spreads very quickly.

Necrotizing fasciitis develops from a common infection of Group A streptococcus, a bacterium found in the throat and on the skin.

While most Group A streptococcus cases end up in relatively mild illnesses such as strep throat, they sometimes cause life-threatening diseases such as necrotizing fasciitis.

Although there is no vaccine to prevent such streptococcal infections, health experts say people can reduce their risk with immediate proper cleaning of all wounds, no matter how small, and keeping them clean and dry throughout the healing process.

Comment: On Oahu, these flesh-eating cases emanate from the ocean or the canals where raw sewage has been spilled.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 10/27/2006 08:14 am - reply- forum

Subject: Shark Feeders Keep Out
To All:



The decision by the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council to ban shark feeding in Hawai'i is a huge victory for the people of Hale'iwa.

In one of the largest turnouts of a public meeting in recent years, a standing-room-only crowd of almost 300 people jammed Hale'iwa Elementary School cafeteria to express their objections to the shark boat operations out of Hale'iwa Harbor.

There have been mounting public concerns from fishermen, surfers, swimmers and scuba divers about potential risks of shark attacks and increased shark sightings near the shore lines, due to shark feeding by the shark boats.

Since 2001, the commercial shark viewing operations began providing and promoting viewing of sharks off Hale'iwa. However, to keep the sharks near the shark cage for viewing, tour operators often introduce chum (fish parts) into the water.

Since the state of Hawai'i prohibits the feeding of sharks for commercial purposes in state waters from zero to three miles from shore, the commercial shark tour operations have relocated into federal waters, which is beyond the three-mile limit.

The overwhelming majority of the people at the meeting objected to the shark boats' operation. The Surf Rider Foundation testified for a total ban on shark boats, while George Downing from Save Our Surf wants to immediately terminate the present permits for the shark tour operations.

It was further reported that there are now four shark boats operating out of Hale'iwa Harbor, and it was believed that two more boats would be coming, unless the state DLNR denies the request for permits to use the harbor.

The council's action validates the concerns expressed by the people present at the meeting, that the commercial shark boat tour operations are not wanted in Hale'iwa.

Jake Ng

Comment: Maybe the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) noticed a decrease in registration from the Haleiwa area for the Native Hawaiian Recognition Entity (Sovereignty Issue of Akaka Bill) and attributed the decrease to shark attacks upon Native Hawaiians.

Can anyone image how stupid it would be to permit shark feeding where people swim? Well, the Department of Land & Natural Resources (DLNR) of the Shogunate of Hawaii has condoned just such activity. Now, we have to imagine just how much grease was applied to hands of those in charge of the DLNR ... even the NAZIs carried out their despicable activities in the shadows of society.

You can be certain, without reservation, that there exists a law firm ready to defend shark feeding where people swim ... maybe even on an environmentally friendly perspective: we have to be kind to sharks.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 10/30/2006 06:23 am - reply- forum

Subject: 20-foot Waves!
To all:

North Shore surf could hit 20 feet by midday

Advertiser Staff

Surf along O`ahu's north-facing shores is expected to continue rising this morning, with wave faces of 16 to 20 feet by midday.
Surf along east-facing shores is also building and could hit 10 to 16 feet by noon today, according to the National Weather Service.

Surf along west-facing shores is also on the way up and could reach 4 to 8 feet today, forecasters said.

Meanwhile, surf along south-facing shores is on the way down and should be in the 1- to 3-foot range today.

The high surf warning will be in effect by midday today for east-facing shores when the swell shifts to the north northeast and reaches the 15-foot warning threshold. The surf may drop below the east shore warning level late Tuesday, although the advisory will extend through Wednesday afternoon. The north shore surf should drop below advisory level Wednesday.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 10/30/2006 01:59 pm - reply- forum

Subject: Necrotizing Fascilitis
To All:

Flesh-eating germs kill Maui landscaper

Ron Lemay had just moved there from the mainland in March

By Gary T. Kubota

WAILUKU » A man who had moved to Maui because he loved the people and climate has died from a flesh-eating disease.

Ron Lemay, 61, who moved from Massachusetts in March and was working as a landscaper, died Thursday morning at Maui Memorial Medical Center, his brother John Lemay said yesterday.

John Lemay said he hoped his brother's death would make people aware of the deadly infection and take immediate steps to treat wounds.

He said he was satisfied with the care that his brother received at the hospital. "They did everything they could, as far as I know," Lemay said.

Lemay's death marks the first death this year on Maui from the flesh-eating infection and the fourth in the state for 2006. Two other deaths have occurred on Oahu and one on Kauai, according to the state.

According to state experts, the infection rates for necrotizing fasciitis were about 10 to 20 per 100,000 population and that the death rate is well within normal limits.

State officials said the incident involving Lemay was not unusual and that Maui has had several cases a year of necrotizing fasciitis in the past. There is no vaccine for the infection.

Janice Okubo, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Health, said earlier this week that the number of infections reported this year is not unusual and there is no evidence of any clustering of cases.

Necrotizing fasciitis develops from a common infection of Group A streptococcus, a bacterium found in the throat and on the skin.

While most Group A streptococcus cases end up in relatively mild illnesses as strep throat, they sometimes cause life-threatening diseases such as necrotizing fasciitis.

Health experts say people can reduce their risk by proper and immediate cleaning of all wounds, no matter how small, and keeping them clean and dry throughout the healing process.

Lemay said his brother was the type of person who would live in an area for a few years and work at various jobs and then move again.

But Lemay said Ron looked at Maui differently.

"He said, 'This is where I'm going to live. I love the people. I love the climate. ... When I die, spread my ashes out there,'" John Lemay recalled.

"I don't think he knew he would be going that soon. At least he was where he wanted to be."

Lemay was admitted to the hospital on Oct. 24 after emergency medical personnel found him unconscious on the courthouse steps in Wailuku. He never regained consciousness to reveal how he got the flesh-eating infection that eventually killed him.

John Lemay said he hopes an article about his brother will serve as a warning to others.

"If this saves somebody else, that's pretty good in itself," he said.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 11/04/2006 10:06 am - reply- forum

Subject: Maui Shark Attack
To All:

Shark attacks visitor off Maui

By Christie Wilson
Advertiser Neighbor Island Editor

WAILUKU, Maui — A 29-year-old Vancouver, British Columbia, man used a technique he learned as a lifeguard to escape the jaws of a shark that attacked him yesterday in waters off Kama'ole Beach Park II in Kihei.

Kyle Gruen was about 30 feet to 40 feet offshore at about 12:30 p.m. when the shark grabbed his left side, causing a deep gouge just above his knee, two bite wounds on his upper thigh and a slash to the back of his hand that severed a tendon. Gruen, an operations manager at the British Columbia Institute of Technology, was carried to shore and taken by ambulance to Maui Memorial Medical Center where he was being treated.

"He was swimming along when just all of a sudden it got him," said his twin brother, Jeff, who was at the beach when the shark attacked. "He pulled away and kicked it off, and it took off right away." The swimmer did not get a good look at the shark, his brother said.

Both Gruens underwent lifeguard training in Vancouver that included learning a technique to break free of panicked swimmers who are in danger of drowning their rescuers by pulling them under. Jeff Gruen said the maneuver involves twisting away and pushing the swimmer off with your feet. It was that same move his brother used to escape the shark's grasp, he said.

County and state aquatics officials followed usual protocol and closed the stretch of shoreline where the attack occurred, from Keawakapu to Kalama Beach Park. The beaches will remain closed at least until noon today, when water safety officers will patrol the waters to look for sharks.

Shortly after yesterday's attack, a Maui Fire Department helicopter spotted a large shark lurking off Cove Park near Kalama, said Archie Kalepa, county ocean safety operations supervisor. Kalepa said water safety officers and Department of Land & Natural Resources agents were having trouble keeping people out of the water. "The beaches were crowded, and it's a beautiful, clear day" with calm seas, he said.

The Gruens arrived on Maui Friday, and the shark-attack victim is scheduled to be the best man in his college buddy's wedding tomorrow in Wailea. "It's a bad way to start a vacation," Jeff Gruen said. "It's bad luck, but it could have been a lot worse. He's really lucky."

When asked how his brother was faring, Gruen said the injured man's main concern was being able to walk down the aisle for the wedding.

In addition to their lifeguard experience, the Gruens surf in the frigid waters off Oregon, so they are no strangers to the ocean. They had gone to the Kihei beach together, and Kyle grabbed his goggles to head out for a swim. Jeff Gruen said he was unaware his brother had been bitten by a shark until he saw a commotion on the beach about 200 feet to 300 feet north from where he himself had gone into the water. Kyle Gruen had managed to make it to shallow water on his own, and bystanders alerted county water safety officers, who rendered first aid.

Someone came up and asked Jeff if he had a brother, and by the time he reached Kyle, the injured man had been carried up to a grassy area. The worst wound was the one just above the knee that exposed shredded muscle tissue, Jeff Gruen said. At the hospital, he was told his brother would get "so many stitches, they won't even count them."

There were three previous shark attacks this year in Hawai'i, the last occurring May 31 on O'ahu's North Shore when a spearfisherman was bitten on the left forearm by what was believed to be an 8- to 10-foot tiger shark. The attack occurred about 150 yards from shore in about 25 feet to 30 feet of water in an area known as "Marijuanas."

On March 23, also on the North Shore in an area known as "Leftovers," a surfer in about 6 feet of water was nipped on the left calf about 130 yards offshore. On Feb. 27, a teenager was wading in shallow water at Makena State Park when an 8-foot shark grabbed ahold of her right leg. The types of sharks involved in the March and February attacks are not known, although tiger sharks are believed to be responsible in most cases.

The last fatal shark in Hawai'i occurred April 7, 2004, when a surfer bled to death after being mauled by a tiger shark off Kahana, Maui.

In general, there are an average of three to five shark attacks in the Islands annually. In 2005, there were five: four off Maui and one off O'ahu. In 2004, there were four attacks: one each off Maui, Moloka'i, Kaua'i and the Big Island.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 11/12/2006 06:08 am - reply- forum

Subject: Tiger Sharks Attack Humpback Whale
To all:

Feeding frenzy attracts risky response by witnesses

By Diana Leone

At least 25 tiger sharks ate a young humpback whale alive Monday off the Big Island's Kailua-Kona Coast, an eyewitness reported yesterday.

But wildlife managers say they are more worried about the behavior of some people -- who leaped into the ocean from boats while the feeding frenzy was happening.

Sharks feeding on an injured animal "is part of the natural processes of the ocean," said Justin Viezbicke, a marine conservation coordinator for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.

The ailing whale was harassed and bitten throughout Monday morning and afternoon by at least 25 tiger sharks, he said.

Viezbicke went to check on the whale after the sanctuary received a report Monday morning that it was being followed by sharks, he said.

By the time the whale died off Lyman's Point at about 4 p.m., it had been badly mauled by the sharks, and Hawaii County officials had closed several nearby beaches, Viezbicke said.

"There were people that were definitely not obeying the 100-yard rule," Viezbicke said.

The sanctuary plans to open an investigation against the violators, said Jeff Walters, sanctuary co-manager.

The marine conservation professionals with Viezbicke took photos of the sharks and whale while remaining aboard their vessel and lowering a camera underwater, he said.

After the whale died, the DLNR boat was assisted by a commercial boat in towing the whale carcass three miles offshore and tie it to a fishing buoy. Nothing remained of the carcass yesterday.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 11/15/2006 06:13 am - reply- forum

Subject: Tsunami from 8.1 Earthquake
To All:

Beachgoers asked to stay out of water

Advertiser Staff

State Civil Defense is warning beachgoers to stay out of the water between 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. because of possible strong currents and potentially rough conditions brought about by the 8.1 magnitude earthquake near Japan early this morning.

A tsunami watch for the state was lifted around 5 a.m. The earthquake generated a series of small tsunamis off the shores of Japan, but were far smaller than originally anticipated.

By 7:10 a.m., Honolulu Police officers were driving through Waikiki, urging surfers and swimmers to stay out of the water, just as a precaution.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center anticipated any backlash from the earthquake to be felt in Hawai'i around 7:20 a.m.

Here's the website address for Pacific Tsunami Warning Center:

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 11/15/2006 03:40 pm - reply- forum

Subject: Tsunami Injury
To All:

Receding Waikiki waters leave visitor with knee injury

Advertiser Staff

A series of surges in coastal waters this morning resulting from a massive earthquake north of Japan led directly to at least one injury on O'ahu, said Bryan Cheplic, spokesman for the city Emergency Services Department.

Cheplic said a 70-year-old woman visitor from San Francisco was in the water off Kuhio Beach in the Waikiki area between 8:50 a.m. and 9:10 a.m. when the water receded about four feet and pulled the woman through an open space in a breakwater wall.

The woman banged her knee on the wall as she was being pulled out toward the open ocean but managed to make it back to shore, Cheplic said.

She was treated for minor injuries at the beach by city lifeguards before returning to her hotel, Cheplic said.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 11/15/2006 03:41 pm - reply- forum

Subject: Tsunami Surge
To all:

Second surge sweeps Kaua'i parking lot

Advertiser Staff

A second and significantly larger surge has hit Nawiliwili Harbor on Kaua'i, Civil Defense and police officials said.

The U.S. Coast Guard Station at Nawiliwili Harbor on Kaua'i reports that at about 8:35 a.m. the tsunami surge swept into its parking lot at the Nawiliwili Small Boat Harbor, Kaua'i Civil Defense officials said.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

On the north shore of the island, near Hanalei, a visitor walking along the coastline was nearly pulled in by receding waters, but was was not injured, officials said.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 11/15/2006 03:42 pm - reply- forum

Subject: Winter Swells
To All:

Northern shores under high surf advisory

Advertiser Staff

Winter surf is back on the North Shore, at least for a day or two.

The National Weather Service has issued a high surf advisory for all northern shores, expecting 8- to 12-foot surf this morning that will increase to 12 to 16 feet with occasional higher sets by this afternoon.

Surf along west shores will be 3 to 5 feet, while eastern shores will see surf in the 3- to 6-foot range and south shores will be 1 to 3 feet.

North swells are expected to roll in through Saturday, the largest keeping northern shores near the advisory level over the next two days.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 11/20/2006 06:59 am - reply- forum

To All:

High surf advisory for Thanksgiving Day

Advertiser Staff

A high surf advisory for eastern shores has been issued through 6 p.m. tonight, the National Weather Service said.

A north north-east swell combined with strong trade winds could generate rough surf and hazerdouz ocean conditions. Swimmers and beachgoers should be wary of hazardous shore breaks, unusual wave action and rip currents.

"With (today) being Thanksgiving Day many families will be out and about enjoying the holiday," said Kenneth Gilbert, O'ahu Civil Defense Disaster Preparedness officer. "We want to make sure that our holiday residents are aware of possible hazardous surf conditions, especially if they choose one our beaches or beach parks as a holiday destination."

Surf along east shores is expected to be 5 to 8 feet today, will drop tomorrow and rise again over the weekend.

The North Shore will see 4- to 7-foot surf this morning, which will rise to 7 to 10 feet later today. West shores will see surf 2 to 4 feet early and 3 to 6 feet later today, and south shores will see surf 1 to 3 feet.

Comment: High Surf Advisory is issued whenever surf could reach fifteen feet (15'). Apparently, the Civil Defense team is not taking any chances with so many people expected to be on the beaches of Oahu.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 11/23/2006 09:55 am - reply- forum

To All:

Maui beaches reopen after shark sighting

Advertiser Staff

LAHAINA, Maui Department of Land and Natural Resources officials at 2:40 p.m. reopened at stretch of West Maui beaches that was closed earlier in the day after a large tiger shark was spotted off Mala Wharf in Lahaina.
Beaches from Lahaina Harbor to Hanakao'o Beach Park in Ka'anapali were closed after an 18- to 20-foot shark was reportedly seen dining on a turtle carcass.

The beaches were reopened when the shark left the area and no further sightings were reported.

With aloha,

# Posted by harry at 11/24/2006 08:54 pm - reply- forum

Subject: High surf Advisory North Shore
To All:

North Shore under high surf advisory

Advertiser Staff

It's definitely the winter wave season on the North Shore, where surf 12 to 16 feet has translated into a high surf advisory until 4 p.m. tomorrow.

Surf is also up along western shores, the National Weather Service said, and will be 7 to 10 feet today.

Eastern shores will see surf 4 to 6 feet, and southern shores will see more tame surf at 2 to 4 feet.

The National Weather Service said the out-of-season south swell will slowly diminish tomorrow and the current northwest swell and the new north swell arriving later tonight will likely produce surf above the high surf advisory threshold along north facing shores into tomorrow afternoon.

Another moderate northwest swell arriving early Saturday will gradually subside Sunday.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 11/30/2006 05:51 am - reply- forum

To All:

Surf expected to hit 28 feet later today

Advertiser Staff

Huge surf is arriving today and will stay through Monday, bringing with it high surf warnings and advisories throughout the islands, the National Weather Service said.

Surf along northern shores will be 6 to 10 feet this morning, build to 12 to 16 feet by the afternoon and raise to 22 to 28 feet tonight. Northern shores for the islands of Ni'ihau, Kaua'i, O'ahu, Molokai and Maui are under a high surf warning from noon today through 4 p.m. tomorrow.

A high surf warning means that dangerous surf is expected along the affected shorelines.

A high surf advisory has also been issued for O'ahu's west shores through tomorrow. An advisory means waves along the affected area will be higher than normal.

On the Big Island, a high surf advisory is in effect for north and west shores tonight through tomorrow night.

Surf along west shores will be 4 to 7 feet through this morning, building to 8 to 12 feet by the afternoon and to 14 to 18 feet tonight, the National Weather Service said.

The remainder of the surf forecast calls for east shores to see surf 3 to 6 feet today and south shores to see surf 1 to 3 feet.

Surf heights are forecast heights of the face or front of waves. Some waves may be more than twice as high as the significant wave height. Expect to encounter rip currents in or near any surf zone.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 12/06/2006 06:12 am - reply- forum

Subject: Giant surf today triggers warnings
To All:

Giant surf today triggers warnings

Advertiser Staff

A high surf warning was in effect for the north shores of most Hawaiian islands last night, with surf peaking at 28-foot wave faces expected about 6 a.m. today on O'ahu.

"This is the highest surf forecast of the 2006 season," said Bill Balfour, O'ahu Civil Defense administrator. "This is also a rather late-season swell."

The National Weather Service said the high surf was generated by a large north swell. Officials urged oceangoers and coastal residents to be aware of the high surf, and to take necessary precautions.

O'ahu Civil Defense also said drivers traveling along the North Shore should exercise caution as roads can become blocked with sand and debris. Also, beachgoers should stay well away from the water and from spots overlooking the ocean, which could be suddenly inundated by a rogue wave.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 12/07/2006 06:52 am - reply- forum

To Al:

Pipeline Masters surf event postponed today

Advertiser Staff

The Rip Curl Pro Pipeline Masters has been postponed today.
The third jewel of the Vans Triple Crown event is scheduled to run tomorrow at Banzai Pipeline, surf permitting.

For updates, call 596-7873 or go to

The Pipeline Masters is the final event of the 2006 World Championship Tour, so many surfers need strong showings to secure their spots for the 2007 WCT. Of the 45 surfers on tour, only the top 27 at the end of the year requalify for the 2007 tour.

Comment: You know the surf is dangerous when they cancel this competition because of a high surf advisory!

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 12/08/2006 11:52 am - reply- forum

Subject: High Surf Advisory North Shore
To All:

High surf advisory in effect for north and west shores

Advertiser Staff

A high surf advisory remains in effect for north and west facing shores, according to the National Weather Service in Honolulu.

Today, surf along north facing shores will be 15 to 20 feet and surf along west facing shores will be 10 to 15 feet.

Surf along east facing shores will be 3 to 6 feet. Surf along south facing shores will be 1 to 3 feet.

The current northwest swell will gradually subside Monday night and Tuesday. Another large northwest swell is expected to arrive by Wednesday afternoon. The surf produced by this new swell will likely be above the high surf advisory threshold along north and west facing shores from late Wednesday through Thursday, according to the weather service. This swell will slowly subside Friday.

Surf heights are forecast heights of the face or front of waves.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 12/11/2006 06:24 am - reply- forum

To All:

Shark sighting closes Kaua'i beach

Advertiser Staff

LIHU'E, Kaua'i — Lifeguards this morning closed a section of Kekaha beach after a 6- to 8-foot whitetip reef shark was spotted in the area.

The shark was spotted at a section of the beach called Inters or Intersections. The Kaua'i Ocean Safety Bureau will reopen the beach when county officials believe it is safe.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 12/13/2006 12:06 am - reply- forum

Subject: Pipeline: Body Jam
To All:

When world's best ride Pipeline, thousands flock

North Shore photo gallery
• Irons has a perfect end to Triple Crown

By Will Hoover
Advertiser North Shore Writer

When Pipeline roars, O'ahu's North Shore population grows by the thousands. And when the world's best are surfing the Pipeline Masters, well, it's an instant body jam.

Spectators by the thousands migrated yesterday to watch titans of the surfing world compete on the final day of one of the surfing world's premier events at Pipeline, where big waves are legend.

The wave-watchers were young and "young at heart," and every age in between, and they came from far and wide — California to New Jersey and beyond.

For two miles, every inch of parking space was occupied on both sides of the narrow, two-lane Kamehameha Highway fronting the event. Rural homeowners transformed their farmyards into makeshift parking lots to accommodate the overflow.

Crystal Kelii, 22, directed more than 100 cars at $5 a vehicle onto the two-acre farm lot owned by her grandfather, Ed Galiza.

"The last day is always the craziest," said Kelii, a veteran of surfing extravaganzas. "But we never turn a car away. We'll move the chickens if we have to. We'll park 'em in with the goats."

Justin Ibarra of Kahuku was prepared to pull in to Galiza's yard when he was stunned to see a roadside parking space suddenly open up a mere two blocks from the event.

"No way I thought I'd get a space," said a delighted Ibarra, 21, moments after he whipped his 2001 silver Honda Civic into the coveted parking slot. "I got lucky."

Ibarra joined the parade of spectators walking in unison toward the sands facing Pipeline.

"We've had a huge turnover of people here today," said Jodi Wilmott, media director for Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. "Definitely in excess of 5,000 people.

"The beauty of Hawai'i is that you can run an event like this on a weekday and still get a tremendous crowd. You've got people from everywhere who want to witness this phenomenon, and they get what they came for — thrills and spills all the way."

John and Gayle Delucey of Lansdale, Pa., were among the thrill-seekers who lined the beach with binoculars and cameras for a chance to witness something many had only heard about.

The Deluceys had traveled to Hawai'i along with numerous members of their family to attend the weekend wedding of their niece when they heard that yesterday was the final day of one of the world's biggest surfing competitions.

"They certainly don't have anything like this at Myrtle Beach," said John Delucey, 56, recalling his only previous experience watching wave-riders.

And although Gayle Delucey, 57, was struck by the potential danger of North Shore surfing, she was inspired to declare she'd like to take a shot at it herself — on tamer waves, of course.

"I saw an ad that said, 'Learn to surf in one hour — guaranteed.'" she said. "So, sure. I'm willing to try. I'll do it."

Ray Desrochers of Cherry Hill, N.J., was not so inclined.

"I won't be learning to surf — not at my age," said Desrochers, 76, who was nevertheless absorbed by what he saw transpiring in the ocean through the heavy lenses he held in his hands.

Desrochers had come to Pipeline with his daughter, Donna Desrochers, 46, also of Cherry Hill. The younger Desrochers qualifies as a veteran North Shore wave-watcher.

"This is my 33rd time here," she said. "I would say I've been to the Triple Crown of Surfing 15 or 16 times. And I've never surfed in my life. I just like to come and watch."

Meanwhile, Bobbie O'Connell Munson, 65, of the San Francisco Bay area, was not having much luck getting a bunch of her grandkids to line up and smile for a photo in front of a huge "Showdown for The Crown" surf wave billboard.

Munson, who learned to surf in Waikiki as a child, was passing the family surfing legacy along to her granddaughter, Andrea Munson, 21.

"My uncles are all surfers," said Andrea. "It kind of runs in our blood. I've tried to surf. Only twice. So, I don't know. But I plan on surfing some more while I'm here."

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 12/15/2006 06:29 am - reply- forum

Subject: Kaua'i beach closed after shark sighting
To all:

LIHU`E, Kaua`i — The Salt Pond beach remained closed today following a shark sighting yesterday. The popular westside beach will reopen when county ocean safety officials deem it safe for the public to return to the water.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 12/27/2006 04:34 pm - reply- forum

Subject: Monster 40-Foot Surf!
To all:

Monster surf expected to hit Kaua'i, O'ahu

Advertiser Staff

The biggest swells of the winter season are expected to hit north and west shores early this morning through late this afternoon, bringing with it a high surf warning that's in effect until 6 p.m. Friday.
The National Weather Service surf forecast is calling for surf along north and west shores to rise to 30 to 40 feet by daybreak on Kaua'i and to hit 30 to 35 feet on O'ahu's North Shore by this afternoon.

Surf will be slightly smaller on Molokai and Maui.

The high surf is being generated by a large northwest swell generated by a passing storm north of the islands a couple of days ago.

A high surf warning means that coastal residents need to make preparations to protect life and property from large waves that could result in coastal flooding.

The rest of today's surf forecast for O'ahu:

The North Shore will see surf 15 to 20 feet late this morning before it builds to to 30 to 35 feet late in the afternoon.

Surf along west shores will be 10 to 15 feet late in the morning and build to 18 to 24 feet late in the afternoon.

Surf along south shores will be 1 to 3 feet, and surf along east shores will be 2 to 4 feet.

Increasing northerly winds will create very rough conditions today off all shores.

The northwest swell will peak early this morning and slowly decline.

Another large northwest swell is expected on Monday night and Tuesday.

Surf heights are forecast heights of the face or front of waves. The surf forecast is based on the significant wave height in the zone of maximum refraction. Some waves may be more than twice as high as the significant wave height. Expect to encounter rip currents in or near any surf zone.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 12/28/2006 06:05 am - reply- forum

Subject: More on Monster Surf
To All:

Big surf may hit 40 feet today

By Loren Moreno and Will Hoover
Advertiser Staff Writers

What is expected to be the largest swell of the winter surf season began rolling in early this morning, promising waves as high as 35 to 40 feet and the threat of coastal flooding.

The National Weather Service issued a high-surf warning for north- and west-facing shores of Kaua'i, O'ahu, Maui and Moloka'i until 6 p.m. tomorrow. A high-surf advisory will be in effect on the Big Island from noon today until 6 a.m. Saturday.

If the surf reports pan out, the waves should be the highest of the year, said veteran North Shore lifeguard Lt. John Hoogsteden. But increasing northerly winds are expected to create turbulent, unruly surfing conditions that won't even make for good wave-watching, he said.

Hazardous conditions and no-swimming signs will be posted, and even professional and expert surfers will likely avoid the water, he said.

Hoogsteden's best advice for the day: "Leave your board at home and bring your common sense."

On Kaua'i, surf along north- and west-facing shores was expected to begin rising after midnight and reach heights of 30 to 40 feet by daybreak. On O'ahu, surf along west-facing shores was expected to rise to 10 to 15 feet late this morning, building to 18 to 24 feet by evening. On the North Shore, surf was expected to be 15 to 20 feet this morning, building to 30 to 35 feet by afternoon.

Surf will be slightly smaller on Moloka'i and Maui, the weather service said.

The large northwest swell will reach the north-, east- and west-facing shores of the Big Island by this evening. Expect surf to reach 15 to 20 feet on that island's north and east shores and 6 to 10 feet on the west shores.

The weather service advises coastal residents to secure property and be aware that large waves may result in coastal flooding.

Dave Curtis, spokesman for state Civil Defense, said O'ahu Civil Defense will be monitoring the high surf and any possible problems that may arise.

"We get constant updates on the forecast from the National Weather Service, and people on our 24/7 staff would be monitoring that constantly throughout the night and the morning hours," Curtis said. "If there are any problems reported from police through O'ahu Civil Defense, then we would take action at that point."

Henry Lau, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Honolulu, said the swell was generated by a passing storm north of the islands a few days ago.

"This is common this time of the year when you have passing storms spinning out toward the Islands," Lau said. "We had one episode last week and it didn't get that high. I believe this is the highest, so far, and there are a few more weeks to go (in the season)."

The northwest swell is expected to peak tonight and slowly decline tomorrow. Another large northwest swell is expected Monday night and Tuesday.

Hoogsteden emphasized that today's expected rough conditions mean there is likely to be no recreational activity in the water on the North Shore.

"Use caution, check with lifeguards if you have any questions, and don't expect much spectating of surfers," he said.

"There will be no good 'Hawai'i Five-0' waves."

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 12/28/2006 06:07 am - reply- forum

Subject: 30-foot Waves North Shore
To All:

Civil Defense expects big North Shore waves tonight

Advertiser Staff

High surf that had been expected this afternoon likely won't be hitting the Islands until tonight, according to O'ahu Civil Defense officials.
Wave faces are predicted to reach 30 feet to 35 feet on the North Shore.

"National Weather Service tells us it probably not going to be up until later this evening," said Peter Hirai, plans and operations officer with O'ahu Civil Defense, adding that the rise is expected to start at about 8 p.m. or 9 p.m.

The prediction is based on when the big swells hit Buoy 1, Hirai said. The swells passed that offshore marker this morning.

Hirai said people out watching the waves should exercise caution, especially if standing on the rocky shore near the water.

Volunteers will be dispatched to key areas tonight to watch the surf and, if necessary, take precautions that could include closing roads.

With aloha,

# Posted by harry at 12/29/2006 04:55 am - reply- forum

Subject: WArning: High Surf on North and West Shores
To All:

Warning to Oahu Residents and Visitors: High Surf on North and West Shores

Surf Could Reach 35 Feet: Beachgoers Should Stay Out of the Water and Off Affected Beach, Reef Areas and Peninsulas

By Peter J.S. Hirai, 12/28/2006 1:21:44 PM

The National Weather Service has issued a high surf warning for Oahu’s north- and west-facing shores through Friday evening. North Shore surf heights are expected to reach 30 to 35 feet while west shores could see surf in the 18-to-24-foot range. Oahu Civil Defense Agency advises residents to be aware of the following precautions:

Residents and visitors are urged to avoid affected beach areas and to comply with life safety directions issued by Ocean Safety lifeguards, police officers and Oahu Civil Defense volunteers.

Beach goers should stay well out of the water, away from peninsulas and reef areas overlooking the ocean and be aware of sudden hazardous changes in ocean behavior.

Motorists driving along the North Shore should exercise caution, as roads can become blocked with sand and debris. Past high surf events have caused temporary road closures at Laniakea and the Chun’s Reef area.

Prepare to take measures to protect your property and prepare to evacuate to a safer location if necessary. Listen to your radio or television for specific Civil Defense precautionary information and instructions.

Should you need to evacuate because of hazardous surf conditions, seek homes of family or friends away from the coast, or emergency shelters as directed by police, fire or Civil Defense officials.

If you need because of an emergency, call 9-1-1 immediately.

The Oahu Civil Defense Agency is notifying the mayor and City responders about necessary emergency planning and response actions.

Whenever we are in a high surf warning, there are a number of procedures that are followed as a part of our County Emergency Operating Plan. This ensures that all City personnel and departments who may be called upon to assist during an emergency are updated with the most current information.

Remember that practically all of Oahu's exposed coastal areas are vulnerable to high surf. Learn all you can about the high surf hazard in your particular area. Neighbors, your rental agent, or Oahu Civil Defense can assist in familiarizing you with this hazard.

Peter J.S. Hirai is the Plans and Operations Officer for the Oahu Civil Defense Agency.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 12/29/2006 05:19 am - reply- forum

Subject: North Shore: 30-foot Waves
To all:

Surf may reach 30 feet along northern shores today

Advertiser Staff

A high surf warning is in effect until 6 p.m. tonight for most north- and west-facing shorelines, National Weather Service forecasters said.
A very large west-northwest swell produced by a storm over the northwestern Pacific Ocean will rise along north and west shores of most islands through tonight, bringing with it a high-surf advisory until 6 p.m.

The swell will peak at or above warning levels from Kaua'i to Maui and will also affect portions of the leeward side of the Big Island.

A high-surf warning means coastal residents need to make preparations to protect life and property from large waves and resulting coastal flooding.

Surf along north-facing shores will build to 25 to 30 feet today, forecasters said. The rest of the surf forecast today calls for surf 14 to 20 feet along west shores, 3 to 6 along east shores and 2 feet or less along south shores.

The current west northwest swell will slowly subside tomorrow through Friday.

The next northwest swell is expected to arrive Saturday, peaking Sunday with surf heights near the advisory level of 15 feet for the north facing shores.

Strong trade winds tomorrow through Friday may bring above advisory level surf heights of 8 feet for the east-facing shores.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 01/02/2007 10:10 am - reply- forum

Subject: Shark bites surfer's board off Kaua'i waters
To All:

Shark bites surfer's board off Kaua'i waters

By Jan TenBruggencate
Advertiser Kaua'i Bureau

LIHU'E, Kaua'i—A shark bit a chunk out of a surfer's board at Major's Bay on the Pacific Missile Range Facility this morning, but the surfer was apparently either not injured or was well enough to leave without assistance.

Missile range information officer Tom Clements said that the surfer had a permit for surfing in the waters fronting the base, and was in the water with several other board-riders when a shark took a piece out of his board.

He reportedly left the water immediately after the attack and drove alone off the base. Clements said his identity was not immediately known and it was not clear whether he had suffered injuries in the incident.

After he left, a piece of his surfboard washed ashore. Clements said it was a semi-circle with jagged edges, about 13 inches wide and 6 inches deep from the board rim to the middle of the bite.

He said Navy officials will be consulting with county water safety officials about how to handle access to the water after a shark attack. The base will close surfing through today and tomorrow, Clements said.

The county has closed access in recent weeks to beaches at Kekaha, just south of the Pacific Missile Range Facility, and at Salt Pond Beach Park, after shark sightings at those popular beaches.

Comment: The sharks are still biting!

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 01/05/2007 04:29 pm - reply- forum

Subject: Pipeline Surfer Still Missing
To All:

Coast Guard Aids in Search for Missing Pipeline Surfer

By U.S. Coast Guard-Hawaii, 1/12/2007 2:42:33 PM

HONOLULU -- The Coast Guard continued today to assist Honolulu Fire Department and Ocean Safety rescuers with a search for a missing surfer at Pipeline on Oahu's North Shore.

An HH-65 Dolphin helicopter, C-130 search plane and the 87-foot patrol boat Ahi searched an area approximately 1000 square miles from Mokuleia to Kahuku Point last night and today. HFD relayed a request for assistance at 11:30 p.m. Thursday and Coast Guard assets were on scene less than an hour later.

The search area is approximately twice the size of Oahu.

The Coast Guard focused its assets on search areas approximately a mile off shore to 12 miles out. HFD and Ocean Safety searchers combed the shoreline and in-shore areas. The three agencies are able to communicate with each other through an 800 MHz radio system.

The 36-year-old surfer was reported missing by his girlfriend late Thursday night. Despite poor visibility because of a lack of moonlight, Coast Guard assets will continue searching through the night.

Comment: After many reports of sharks taking chunks out of surfboards, I believe that we can conclude that the sharks got smarter while the surfers remained indifferent. Result: Sharks get free lunch!

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 01/12/2007 07:01 pm - reply- forum

Subject: Kualoa closed to swimmers because of bacteria count
To All:

Kualoa closed to swimmers because of bacteria count

Advertiser Staff

Officials planned to post warning signs today at Kualoa Regional Park after high bacteria levels were found in offshore waters there.

The signs will be up at least through the three-day Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, said Watson Okubo of the state Department of Health's Clean Water Branch.

Routine water sampling found that levels of enterococci bacteria were 57 units per 100 milliliters, above the state allowable level of 7 units and the federal standard of 35 units.

High bacteria levels closed the beach to swimming earlier this year. The beach was reopened to swimmers in May and the city continues to pump wastewater from the park into tanker trucks.

Comment: Given recent incidents, some of these bacteria could be of the flesh-eating variety. Hope they like shark meat.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 01/12/2007 07:18 pm - reply- forum

Subject: More on Missing Pipe Surfer
To All:

Surfer missing at Banzai Pipeline

By Mike Gordon
Advertiser Staff Writer

From his grandmother's home in Puerto Rico to the one he shares with his fiancee in Hale'iwa, the family and friends of Joaquin Velilla are praying for his safe return.

He went surfing Thursday evening amid the unforgiving waves at Banzai Pipeline and vanished.

The Honolulu Fire Department, the U.S. Coast Guard and North Shore lifeguards searched by air and boat yesterday for the 35-year-old surfboard shaper. The search stretched from Mokule'ia to Kahuku Point — at times, 12 miles out to sea — and covered more than 1,000 square miles, the Coast Guard said.

They found nothing.

The only sign of Velilla to turn up so far is his surfboard. HFD Capt. Frank Johnson said "an anonymous person" found Velilla's board Thursday night at 7 p.m. at 'Ehukai Beach Park near Pipeline and turned it in yesterday to Fire Department personnel. "It has been confirmed to be the missing surfer's surfboard," Johnson said.

"He paddled out at Pipe and he never came home," said Mariela Acosta, his 32-year-old fiancee. "I had to work late, and when I came home, around 10 p.m., he wasn't here. So I went to Pipe and found his car. I called 911."

The search — which included a U.S. Coast Guard cutter and helicopter as well as the Hono-lulu Fire Department's Air 1 helicopter and Rescue 2 unit — began after the 911 call, at about 11:15 p.m. Thursday, authorities said.

The Fire Department searched until 2 a.m. yesterday before suspending efforts until daybreak. Using night-vision goggles, Coast Guard searchers stayed out all night.

Capt. Sigmund Oka, a Fire Department spokesman, said the weather was clear but the strong surf and wind could hamper the search.

"In an aerial search, a lot of it is based on visibility, and the choppiness and whitecaps may have an effect," he said.

A westerly swell was pushing huge amounts of water toward the beach Thursday evening with wave faces said to be 20 feet — and rising. By yesterday, some sets were estimated to be 22 feet.

Acosta said her fiance is an experienced waterman who has surfed for more than 20 years and shaped surfboards for a living for 15 years.

The couple moved to Hawai'i five years ago from Puerto Rico.

"Joaquin is a committed, passionate surfer," she said. "He is very athletic, healthy, no vices. Very committed to his sport. That was his life, surfing and shaping."

Velilla's mother was flying in from Miami and his father from Puerto Rico. But numerous family members had gathered yesterday at his 81-year-old grandmother's home in Toa Alta, outside San Juan, she said.

The family was waiting for any news of Velilla's fate, said his 29-year-old cousin, Juan Roman.

"For me, until I get the final news that he is not found, then he is alive," Roman said.

In Puerto Rico, Velilla practically lived at the beach, his cousin said. He moved to Hawai'i for the surf.

"He surfs every day, since he was little, every day," Roman said. "When a hurricane came here in Puerto Rico, he would go look for the big waves. He liked big waves. He liked the adrenaline rush."

Pipeline is one of the world's most-often photographed waves because of the watery barrels it creates when a swell rolls over a shallow, jagged reef. Surfers come from everywhere to ride it, but even veteran surfers can get in trouble, said Jodi Wilmott, a North Shore resident and surf event promoter.

"The irony is that many of the serious accidents and deaths out there have happened to serious surfers," she said. "Pipeline doesn't have much margin for error. Pipeline is a such a rapidly breaking wave. You have split seconds to respond, even if you are at the top of your game."

Thursday's waves were heavy, and the long shore currents from a westerly swell could quickly sweep someone up the coast toward Sunset Beach. Or worse, a collapsing wave could shove a surfer into the cavernous reef, trapping him.

At one point yesterday, searchers found a surfboard. It gave Velilla's fiancee a heart-fluttering moment of dread, but the board belonged to someone else.

Authorities told her they would continue searching today. It buoyed her hopes.

"Everybody is thinking about him right now," she said. "We want him back

Comment: It is not uncommon for surfers to disappear without a trace in the waters between Haleiwa and Sunset Beach. I suspect the culprit was a tiger shark that came close to shore looking for food.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 01/13/2007 07:51 am - reply- forum

Subject: Shark sighting closes Hanalei Bay
To All:

Shark sighting closes Hanalei Bay

Advertiser Staff

Kaua'i Ocean Safety Bureau officials have announced that Hanalei Bay is closed due to the sighting of a shark in the area.
The north shore beach will remain closed at least until the end of the day.

Officials will reassess the situation tomorrow morning and determine whether it is safe for the public to return to the water.

People wanting to go to the beach are urged to head for other guarded beaches around the island.

The announcement was made at 2 p.m. today.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 01/21/2007 10:03 pm - reply- forum

Subject: Surf Could Reach 40 Feet!
To All:

Revised warning: Surf could hit 40 feet

Advertiser Staff

The National Weather Service issued a revised high surf warning at 10 a.m. today for north-facing shores on all but the Big Island, saying wave faces on the outer reefs could build to 40 feet later today.

Coastal residents need to make preparations along the affected shores to protect life and property due to large breaking waves and coastal flooding, forecasters said.

The high surf warning will remain in effect until 4 a.m. Wednesday.

The surf is expected to peak tonight and begin to subside tomorrow.

Police and firefighters are keeping a wary eye on the situation but had not received any calls for assistance as of 11:45 a.m. today.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 01/23/2007 04:54 pm - reply- forum

Subject: 40-footers again!
To All:

Surf could peak at 40 feet on North Shore

Advertiser Staff

A high surf warning is in effect for north and west shores until 6 a.m. Wednesday, the National Weather Service said.
Surf along northern shores will be rising to 30 to 40 feet through Tuesday, while west-facing shores will see surf 15 to 25 feet.

Eastern shores will see surf 2 to 4 feet, while southern shores will see surf 1 to 3 feet.

The high surf is expected to peak today.

Comment: Earlier reports have waves washing over the highway in Makaha.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 01/30/2007 09:37 am - reply- forum

Subject: Wipeout = Death in High Surf
To all:

Serious wipeout likely killed surfer

Advertiser Staff

LIHU'E, Kaua'i — Surfer Robert Martin, 23, of Ha'ena, died after he was found unconscious on Wainiha Beach following a report by a bystander who saw a surfer crash in nearby waves.

A 911 call was received at 6 p.m. Tuesday, in which the caller reported seeing a serious "wipe-out" at Wainiha Beach.

Fire officials said they responded to a report of a man found washed up on the shore. Emergency personnel performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation, but Martin was pronounced dead on arrival at Wilcox Hospital Tuesday night.

Comment: Surfers should heed advisories.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 02/01/2007 05:46 am - reply- forum

Subject: Makapuu Sharks
To All:

Man's body found at Makapu'u Beach Park

Advertiser Staff

The body of a 40-year-old man was recovered near the shoreline of Makapu'u Beach Park about 6:20 p.m. yesterday after he apparently jumped to his death deliberately from the cliffs above.

Police said the man's girlfriend discovered a text message from the man at 4:48 p.m. yesterday saying he intended to commit suicide by jumping from the Makapu'u cliffs.

The girlfriend notified police, who found the man's car parked in the lower parking lot near the Makapu'u lighthouse.

Patrol officers and firefighters combed the area looking for the man, and a police helicopter joined in the search.

The man's remains were eventually found near the shoreline.

Police said that during the search and recovery efforts, two large sharks were spotted in the area, leading to a decision by state Department of Land and Natural Resources officials to close the beach.

Comment: Maybe the police should use sharks instead of cadaver dogs to locate bodies.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 02/10/2007 05:44 pm - reply- forum

Subject: High Surf Advisory
To All:

Surf could reach 25 to 30 feet on North Shore

Advertiser Staff

The National Weather Service issued a high surf warning and said waves could reach 25- to 30-foot faces Thursday on north-facing shores.
Surf on west-facing shores could reach 15 to 20 feet, the forecast said.

A large swell from the northwest was building last night and was expected to peak today. The high surf warning is in place until 4 a.m. Friday.

Also today, surf along south-facing shores will be 3 feet or less, and surf along east-facing shores will be 2 to 4 feet.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 02/15/2007 08:45 am - reply- forum

To all:

Mainland is now on daylight savings time

Advertiser Staff

It's official: Daylight savings time arrived this morning in almost every state in the country.

Most people had to move their clocks and watches one hour forward.

That means California is now three hours ahead of Hawai'i time-wise, the Mid-West is five hours ahead and the East Coast is 6 hours ahead.

If your lucky enough to live in Hawai'i or, Arizona, for that matter you didn't have to bother resetting your timepiece.

They are the only two states in the country that don't have to remember to "spring forward" or "fall back" since neither one observes daylight savings time.

Comment: The Shogunate of Hawaii does not revert to Daylight Savings Time (DST): the sharks & other Stone Age creatures would get too confused.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 03/11/2007 10:17 am - reply- forum

To All:,2933,258247,00.html

Tour Helicopter Crash in Hawaii Kills 1

Monday, March 12, 2007

HANEA, Hawaii One person was killed and three people were seriously injured in a tour helicopter crash Sunday on Kauai, the second fatal helicopter accident on the island in four days, authorities say.

The crash occurred at about 1 p.m., shortly after the pilot heard a loud bang and lost control of the aircraft near the island's north shore, Federal Aviation Administration officials said.

The helicopter, owned by Smoky Mountain Helicopters Inc., struck some trees with its main rotor blade, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said in an e-mail.

There were five people on board the Hughes 500 helicopter including the pilot, who was uninjured.

A tour helicopter crash on Thursday at Princeville Airport killed three passengers and the pilot. Three others were injured.

Comment: This second crash in four days is cause for concern. Though Hawaii presents a spectacular helo ride for visitors, it is time some serious investigations take place into the maintenance and qualification standards in this industry. Helo tours are getting so popular that it seems any wacko can be hired to operate the machines. No tourist season goes by without a fatal crash on one of the islands. The victims are predominantly affluent Whites from the Mainland USA.

Seriously speaking, I would not recommend purchasing a tour on a helo in Hawaii, until some authoritative agency, like the FAA ... from the Mainland with Mainland investigators, clears the industry. It is too easy for the corrupt system in place here in Backdoor Dan Inouye's Shogunate just to give anyone a pass in return for some under-the-table money or a campaign donation in some form.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 03/12/2007 05:27 am - reply- forum

To All:

Surf could hit 25 feet Tuesday

Advertiser Staff

It's not exactly the calm before the storm, but today's surf along noth-facing shores is slated to be 6 to 9 feet, well below the 25-footers the National Weather Service has in Tuesday's forecast.
West-facing shores will see surf 2 to 4 today, but Tuesday's swell will bring the surf up to 20 feet through Wednesday.

The advisory level for both shores will continue through Thursday, the National Weather Service said.

The rest of today's forecast calls for southern shores to see surf 3 to 5 feet and eastern shores to see surf 1 to 3 feet.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 03/12/2007 11:01 am - reply- forum

To All:

Box jellyfish arrive early in Waikiki

By Catherine E. Toth
Advertiser Urban Honolulu Writer

The monthly influx of box jellyfish has arrived in Waikiki early this morning, with dozens found on the beaches.
Warning signs will be posted at beaches with box jellyfish sightings.

The beaches in Waikiki, particularly near the Kapahulu groin, typically get more box jellyfish than other areas. The city's Ocean Safety Division cautions all swimmers from entering the water if they are allergic to stings.

Other near-shore waters that may be affected include Hanauma Bay, Pokai Bay, Makaha Surfing Beach and Waimea Bay.

People stung by box jellyfish are advised to flush the sting area with copious amounts of white vinegar. Anyone experiencing breathing difficulties, muscle cramps or spasms, and/or persistent pain are advised to seek immediate medical attention. Lifeguard stations are equipped to treat this kind of marine sting.

For more information on ocean conditions, advisories and warnings, the Ocean Safety Division provides a prerecorded report 24 hours a day at 922-3888, ext. *51. Or visit

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 03/12/2007 02:57 pm - reply- forum

To All:

Overnight surf threatens roads, but does little damage

Advertiser Staff

A high surf warning remains in effect for northern and western shores until 4 p.m. today, but the predicted high surf early this morning didn't shut down roads or do much damage.

Surf up to 25 feet was predicted for the Waianae coast, but it never disrupted traffic and no shelters had to be opened or evacuations had to be made.

Likewise, Kamehameha Highway along the North Shore, where surf was expected to reach 30 feet, saw a few wash over places, particularly near Shark's Cove around 1 a.m. But other than leaving wet sand splattered across the road, damage appeared to be nil last night.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 03/14/2007 11:17 am - reply- forum

To All:

Volunteers spot plenty of whales

Advertiser Staff

An estimated 500 volunteer whale watchers at 59 sites gathered data along the shore of O'ahu, Kaua'i, the Big Island and Kaho'olawe today for the annual Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Ocean Count.

Observers sited approximately three whales per every 15-minute segment at each location, with the exception of Kaho'olawe, which reported around 10 whales sightings during every 15-minute segment at the island's one observer location.

Hawaiian waters are a critical breeding habitat for about two-thirds of the North Pacific stock of humpback whales.

The whales migrate each winter to their Hawaiian habitat to mate, calve and nurse their young. The sanctuary is managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 03/31/2007 11:18 pm - reply- forum

To all:

Surf topping 14 feet on north shores as swells roll in

Advertiser Staff

Surf along north-facing shores will be 9 feet to 14 feet with occasional higher sets, the National Weather Service said, and surfers can consider today's swell a warmup for a significant northwest swell expected to arrive Sunday.

Sunday's swell is to produce surf at or near warning levels before a smaller northwest swell rolls in on Tuesday.

Toward Makaha, surf will be 6 feet to 9 feet with occasional higher sets today.

Southern shores will see a rise in surf Tuesday when a new swell arrives, but today expect surf 2 feet to 4 feet and the same along eastern shores

Comment: Some good surfing has arrived!

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 04/06/2007 12:25 pm - reply- forum

To All:

Shark sighting closes Ha'ena Beach on Kaua'i

Advertiser Staff

HA'ENA, Kaua'i Kaua'i Ocean Safety Bureau officers have closed the Ha'ena Beach area to swimming after a tiger shark was seen swimming near the shore this morning.

The shark was between 6 feet and 8 feet in length, and was seen swimming about 15 yards from the beach at 10 a.m.

Swimmers are being urged to go to other Kaua'i beaches with lifeguards. Ha'ena Beach, which fronts the county's Ha'ena Beach Park, will be reopened when lifeguards conclude that the shark is gone and it is safe to swim.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 04/06/2007 06:48 pm - reply- forum

To All:

Rockslide closes North Shore

Advertiser Staff

Several boulders fell onto Kamehameha Highway near Waimea Bay around 12:45 a.m., prompting police to shut down the only road through the North Shore in both directions.

No one was injured when the boulders fell on the Sunset Beach side of Waimea Bay, police said.

The spot where the boulders fell is in the same area as a 2000 rockslide that cut off Kamehameha Highway for 95 days and disrupted North Shore traffic, police said.

In April 2006, an early-morning slide of rocks and debris, including at least one tree, closed a section of Kamehameha Highway from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m. No injuries were reported.

State officials installed chain-link fencing and netting after March 2000 slide.

The debris that landed on the highway last year came through an unprotected area on the Pupukea side.

Comment: Some surf spots will be out-of-reach by land!

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 04/07/2007 09:05 am - reply- forum

To all:

More than 200 box jellyfish found today in Waikiki

By Catherine E. Toth
Advertiser Urban Honolulu Writer

More than 200 box jellyfish were found in Waikiki this morning, the first day of the monthly influx.

The city's Ocean Safety Division has issued a box jellyfish advisory today and possibly tomorrow. Warning signs are posted.

The most commonly affected area is Waikiki Beach, especially in the water near the Kapahulu groin.

Other near-shore waters that may see box jellyfish include Hanauma Bay, Poka'i Bay, Makaha Surfing Beach and Waimea Bay.

Lifeguards caution people from getting into the water, especially if they're allergic to box jellyfish stings.

Those stung by box jellyfish are advised to flush the sting area with copious amounts of white vinegar. Anyone experiencing difficulty breathing, muscle cramps or spasms, or persistent pain are advised to seek immediate medical attention.

Lifeguard stations are equipped to treat stings.

For public information regarding ocean conditions, advisories, and warnings, call the city's 24-hour recording at 922-3888 x 51. Our visit

Reach Catherine E. Toth at 954-0664 or Read her blog, The Daily Dish, at

Comment: One jellyfish sting has a 15-year-old in serious condition:

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 04/11/2007 04:15 pm - reply- forum

To All:

Information and charts on box jellyfish invasion cycles:

According to the news, 164 people were stung by box jellyfish:

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 04/12/2007 06:17 am - reply- forum

To All:

Box Jellyfish Invasion Closes Hanauma Bay

By Bryan Cheplic, 4/12/2007 11:21:50 AM

City Ocean Safety Division lifeguards closed the beach at Hanauma Bay this morning because of an unusually high number of swimmers needing treatment for box jellyfish stings.

The box jellyfish influx is much milder than yesterday but there has been a high number of stings reported at the Bay this morning. After discussing the situation with the Citys Parks and Recreation Department the decision was made to close the bay effective at 10 a.m.

Although only six box jellyfish were found at Hanauma Bay today, more than 18 people were treated for stings there. None of the people who were treated required hospital care.

The situation will be assessed tomorrow morning and a decision will be made then whether to keep Hanauma Bay closed or reopen it to the public. Lifeguards assess beaches for box jellyfish during the monthly alert period. If box jellyfish are discovered, warning signs are posted as warranted. Persons stung by box jellyfish are advised to flush the sting area with copious amounts of white vinegar. Anyone experiencing breathing difficulty, muscle cramps/spasms, and/or persistent pain are advised to seek immediate medical attention. Lifeguard stations are supplied and equipped to treat this type of marine sting.

For information regarding ocean conditions, advisories and warnings, the Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services Division provides a recorded report that can be accessed 24 hours a day; at 922-3888 ext. 51 or visit

Bryan Cheplic is the public information officer for the Honolulu Emergency Services Department

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 04/13/2007 10:33 am - reply- forum

To All:

Public advised to avoid ocean waters near Pearl Harbor

Advertiser Staff

The state Department of Health is advising people to stay out of waters fronting the channel that leads to Pearl Harbor as well as the Hickam Yacht Harbor channel and waters off the ewa half of the Reef Runway after nearly 21,000 gallons of un-disinfected sewage effluent was discharged into ocean waters near the entrance to Pearl Harbor.

Watson Okubo, chief of the monitoring and analysis section of the Health Department's Clean Water Branch, said people should avoid contact with the affected waters for at least four days.

Okubo said the Fort Kamehameha wastewater treatment plant lost electrical power beginning about 6:50 p.m. Saturday evening.

Before the power was restored, some 20,833 gallons of treated but not disinfected effluent was discharged into the ocean through the plant's outfall.

During the power outage, the treatment plant's ultra-violet disinfection unit was knocked off-line, Okubo said.

Denise Emsley, a Navy spokeswoman, said ultra-violet light disinfection is normally the last step prior to effluent discharge and completes the plant's requirements to kill any residual bacteriological organisms that were not eliminated during the advanced secondary treatment process.

Effluent was discharged into Mamala Bay through the plant's 12,500 foot long outfall line at a depth of 150 feet, Emsley said.

She said the Navy immediately notified the state Department of Health as required by the wastewater treatment plant's operating permit. It was determined that warning signs were not needed and the bypassed effluent would be naturally dispersed with minimal human health and environmental impacts, Emsley said.

The Navy's Fort Kamehameha Wastewater Treatment Plant provides advanced secondary treatment of both domestic and non-domestic wastewater, Emsley said.

Comment: Does this mean every time that Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) loses power that we can expect a sewage spill into the ocean?

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 04/15/2007 12:31 pm - reply- forum

To All:

Swell bringing up to 20-foot surf on northern shores

Advertiser Staff

An approaching northwest swell is expected to produce advisory-level surf across northern and western shores through 6 a.m. Tuesday, the National Weather Service said.

Northern shores will see surf 17 feet to 20 feet today and western shores will see surf 9 feet to 12 feet.

Good surf can also be found along eastern shores (3 feet to 5 feet), and southern shores (2 feet to 4 feet).

The northwest swell is expected to peak tonight and diminish slowly through Thursday. A small northwest swell will follow, but surf will be well below the advisory level.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 04/24/2007 06:01 am - reply- forum

To All:

Shark bites snorkeler off Kihei; stretch of beach closed

Advertiser Staff

KIHEI, Maui A snorkeler was bitten on the leg by a shark this morning at Keawakapu Beach in Kihei.

The attack occurred at 8:30 a.m. when a woman reported to be in her 60s was injured on the hand and calf, said county spokeswoman Mahina Martin.

She was taken by ambulance to Maui Memorial Medical Center.

An hour earlier, a surfer at Kamaole Beach Park II reported that a possible tiger shark bumped his friend's surfboard.

A 4-mile stretch of beach from Kalama Park to the Grand Wailea Resort was closed this morning. County ocean safety and Department of Land and Natural Resources personnel are monitoring the areas, which are expected to remain closed today and possibly tomorrow.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 05/07/2007 04:19 pm - reply- forum

To All:

Box jellyfish invasion closes Hanauma Bay

Advertiser Staff

City parks and recreation officials, at the urging of city lifeguards, have closed Hanauma Bay today because of a large influx of box jellyfish, said lifeguard spokesman Bryan Cheplic.

The popular marine preserve was closed at 7:35 a.m. this morning "and we're in the process of clearing out the bay," Cheplic said.

No one was stung this morning but lifeguards counted more than 20 box jellyfish on the beach and "countless more in the water" during low tide, Cheplic said.

"It typically gets progressively worse as the tide gets higher," Cheplic said.

Lifeguards counted more than 600 box jellyfish on Waikiki beaches this morning. But, unlike Hanauma Bay, city officials cannot close popular sites like Ala Moana and Waikiki beaches because of their size, Cheplic said.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 05/11/2007 02:32 pm - reply- forum

To All:

Kauai beach park reopens today after shark sighting

Advertiser Staff

LIHU'E, Kaua'i The county's ocean safety staff has reopened Salt Pond Beach Park to swimming a day after a shark was spotted along the shore.
The shark, which was seen Sunday, did not appear to be present this morning.

Salt Pond Beach park is on the west side of Pu'olo Point, near Hanapepe.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 07/09/2007 09:18 pm - reply- forum

To All:

Nearly 300 jellyfish found in Waikiki; 100 in Makaha

Advertiser Staff

The city's Ocean Safety Division box jellyfish advisory will remain in place today.

Lifeguards this morning counted 297 jellyfish in the Waikiki area, said Bryan Cheplic, spokesman for Honolulu Emergency Services. Cheplic said that count was slightly above the typical influx average.

Another 100 jellyfish were found this morning on Makaha Beach, Cheplic said, noting that typically fewer than one dozen jellyfish are found on Leeward beach during influx periods, which occur about 10 days after a full moon.

About 120 jellyfish were found yesterday morning in the Waikiki area, when the advisory was issued.

The beaches in Waikiki, particularly in the water 'ewa of the Kapahulu groin, are the most commonly affected areas.

Other nearshore waters that may be affected include Hanauma Bay, Pokai Bay, Makaha Surfing Beach and Waimea Bay.

The city's Ocean Safety Division advises beachgoers, especially those allergic to the marine stings, to stay out of the water.

Anyone who is stung and experiences difficulty breathing, muscle cramps or spasms or persistent pain should seek immediate medical attention.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 07/10/2007 03:05 pm - reply- forum

To all:

Shark bites man on leg off Bellows Beach

Advertiser Staff

Fire department personnel are evacuating Lanikai Beach following a shark attack at nearby Bellows Beach in Waimanalo in which a 36-year-old man was attacked and taken to the hospital in serious condition by the Emergency Medical Services.

Witness on the scene said the victim, who suffered a severe calf wound to his leg, was rescued about 3:15 p.m. by people at the scene who realize the man was in trouble and went into the water and got him to shore. Ocean safety lifeguards on the scene treated the victim until the Emergency Medical Services personnel arrived.

The victim, who remained conscious, described the shark to rescuers as about six to 10 feet long, although he didn't know what type of shark it was.

Ocean Safety officials reqested that fire department personnel assist in the evacuation of Lanikai Beach, said HFD Capt. Terry Seelig.

"We have crews who are on the scene now assessing the situation," said Seelig.

Comment: Bellows Beach is a military beach.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 07/19/2007 11:25 pm - reply- forum

To All:

Windward beachgoers asked not to go in water

Advertiser Staff

Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Division officials are asking people to stay out of the water this morning on the windward side of O'ahu until a safety assessment can be done as to whether sharks are near the shorelines.

"The fire department and DLNR are also helping out. They're all going out at first light to the windward beaches to make sure it's OK to go back in the water," said Bryan Cheplic, spokesman for Emergency Services. "We should know by 8 or 8:30 a.m., but in the meantime, to be safe, people should please stay out of the water at Lanikai, Kailua Beach, Sherwood, Waimanalo Beach Park and Bellows."

Safety concerns have been raised following a shark attacking a man who was snorkeling off the military-only side of Bellows Beach yesterday. The man suffered a serious leg wound, prompting beach closures from Lanikai to Waimanalo.

Beachgoers also reported seeing a shark attacks of at least two sea turtles off Bellows and Lanikai around the same time.

The victim, Harvey Miller, is a 36-year-old Mainland visitor who was taken to The Queen's Medical Center in serious but stable condition with a severe bite wound to his left leg below the knee, Cheplic said. He punched the shark in the nose to get away.

Witnesses described the shark as an 8-foot tiger shark, but authorities at the scene said that had not been confirmed.

It was the first reported shark attack off O'ahu in 16 months. On March 23, 2006, a Vancouver, B.C., woman survived a shark's bite to her left calf while surfing at Left Overs, a surf spot a mile south of Waimea Bay.

To read a complete story on the shark attack, go to

Comment: When the entire North Shore goes on alert, the shark problem is the most severe that I have ever read of in the local newspapers!

This article means that the waters off Oahu are dangerous ... Stay Out of the Water!!!!

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 07/20/2007 12:02 pm - reply- forum

To All:

Shark bite victim faces long recovery
Advertiser Staff

Harvey Miller won't be able to walk for two to three months after a tiger shark ripped into his leg Thursday as Miller snorkeled off Bellows Beach.
But "it's better than leaving the island in a box," he said yesterday.

Miller, a 36-year-old civil lawyer from Toledo, Ohio, left his bed at The Queen's Medical Center for the first time today after undergoing surgery to repair his damaged leg.

He was groggy and barely kept his eyes open at times, and apologized for his appearance.

"I'm (usually) a bit of a jokester," Miller told reporters.

He had been looking at fish when an 8-foot tiger shark bit him in the leg around 3 p.m. Thursday.

The shark broke off the attack when Miller punched it below the dorsal fin.

Comment: It is unusual for a tiger shark to venture this close to shore. Tiger sharks are quite aggressive. We can expect many more bites, as the summer progresses.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 07/21/2007 02:40 am - reply- forum

To all:

Box jellyfish warning for south shores, Waianae Coast

Advertiser Staff

The Ocean Safety Division's box jellyfish warning for south shores and the Wai'anae Coast continues today.

Yesterday, more than 1,000 box jellyfish were counted on the Wai'anae Coast and 400 more were counted from Ala Moana to Hanauma Bay.

Box jellyfish wash ashore at night during their spawning, which takes place eight to 10 days after the full moon.

Anyone who is stung and experiences difficulty breathing, muscle cramps or spasms or persistent pain should seek medical help.

Comment: Actually, the warning is for East, South and West shores.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 08/09/2007 02:49 pm - reply- forum

To all:

Bacteria closes Kauai beach

Advertiser Staff

LIHU'E, Kaua'i The state Department of Health today posted signs warning swimmers to stay out of the water at the eastern end Kalapaki Beach after detecting bacteria from a sewage leak into Nawiliwili Bay.

The agency was notified Wednesday of the possible contamination and took samples yesterday, said Health Department spokeswoman Janice Okubo. Results released today indicate the bacteria were from a human fecal source.

The leak was traced to a broken sewerline connection at a private residence, Okubo said. The discharge has been ranging from 1 to 5 gallons per minute, and health officials and the neighboring Kaua'i Marriott Resort are working together to fix the problem, since hotel guests use the beach, she said.

Warning signs were posted 100 yards west from the eastern end of Kalapaki Beach and will remain posted until repairs are completed and bacteria levels return to normal, Okubo said.

Comment: If it is not sharks, then it is jellyfish. Now, we have to consider flesh-eating bacteria.

Some Paradise!

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 08/10/2007 10:05 pm - reply- forum

To all:

Shark sighting closes Maui beach for 2 hours

Advertiser Staff

KIHEI, Maui County ocean safety staff closed Keawakapu Beach on the south side of Maui at 1:45 p.m. today after a 10-foot shark was spotted feeding on a deer carcass.

The beach was reopened at 3:30 p.m. after the carcass was removed from the water, said county spokeswoman Mahina Martin.

The type of shark could not be identified.

Keawakapu was the site of a May 7 shark attack in which a 63-year-old California woman was bitten on the right leg while snorkeling about 25 yards from shore.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 08/17/2007 03:45 am - reply- forum

To all:

Boy suffers only minor injury in Hawaii shark attack

Advertiser Staff

A 15-year-old boy was bitten by a shark yesterday while bodysurfing near the Crouching Lion restaurant in Ka'a'awa but suffered only a minor foot injury.

Randy Honebrink, of the state Department of Land & Natural Resources Shark Task Force, said the boy was 400 yards offshore when he felt something "slice" at his foot before seeing the foot in the mouth of a shark.

The boy kicked the shark with his other foot, causing it to swim away.

The incident was reported at 4:30 p.m.

The shark is believed to be a 12-foot tiger shark, based on the boy's description, Honebrink said.

The state official said he believes the boy kicked at the shark at about the same time the shark opened its mouth, which is a very unusual happening.

Honebrink said the boy was treated for injuries at a nearby fire station before his parents took him to Kaiser Moanalua Medical Center for further examination.

Comment: This incident occurred on Oahu's North shore. You would think with all the felons in the water near Nawiliwili Harbor on Kauai that the sharks would be feasting upon them. No such luck! The sharks preferred the taste of non-felons off Oahu.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 08/30/2007 12:42 am - reply- forum

To all:

Shark sightings close 2 beaches

Advertiser Staff

Authorities cleared the beach at Kama'ole Beach Park No. 1 on Maui at about 6 p.m. yesterday after a shark was sighted close to shore.

Officers estimated the shark was about the same size as a hammerhead sighted yesterday morning at Keawakapu Beach. Kama'ole is about 1 1/2 miles north of Keawakapu. Keawakapu had been closed for several hours after a shark was sighted there. A lifeguard at Keawakapu had confirmed that there was an 8-foot hammerhead shark "cruising" about 10 to 15 feet offshore.

Comment: Parts of the Sandwich Islands serve as breeding grounds for hammerhead sharks. It is not unusual to sight one.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 10/22/2007 11:50 am - reply- forum

To all:

Surfers Delight:

Surfers' delight: Swells all around

Advertiser Staff

The National Weather Service has given a dream forecast for surfers: swells from all directions are expected through Wednesday.

The most significant one will be a northeast swell that may bring near advisory level of 8 feet for the east and northeast facing shores over the weekend and Monday.

Today, surf along north shores will be 4 to 7 feet; surf along west shores will be increasing to 2 to 4 feet; surf along east shores will be 4 to 6 feet with occasional higher sets along exposed northeast facing beaches; and surf along south shores will be increasing to 3 to 4 feet.

A moderate size northwest swell slated for Sunday, lasting into Monday. A series of south swells is also anticipated, with the largest one to arrive early Monday.

Comment: This article refers to the shores off of Oahu. Maui still has the sharks patrolling.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 10/26/2007 06:57 am - reply- forum

To all:

Aloha to the Constitution

By Tony Perkins, 10/25/2007 1:35:44 PM

In the Hawaiian language, Aloha is used as a traditional greeting or farewell. Yesterday 261 Members of the House of Representatives said Aloha to the principles set forth in the Constitution by voting in favor of H.R. 505, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act.

The bill declares that anyone with at least one ancestor indigenous to Hawaii would have a right to autonomy and self-governance and would require the U.S. to assist them in creating their own new separate government.

The U.S. Supreme Court in U.S. v. Sandoval declared that the U.S. Congress does not have the power to create an Indian tribe where one does not exist. Even more recently the U.S. Civil Rights Commission noted that this legislation "would discriminate on the basis of race or national origin and further subdivide the American people into discrete subgroups accorded varying degrees of privilege."

These concerns meant nothing to supporters of the bill. Thankfully the U.S. Constitution does exist and grants a system of checks and balances. The Bush administration issued a Statement of Administration Policy yesterday where his senior advisors recommended President Bush would veto the bill if presented to him. I enjoy a good luau as much as the next guy -- but not at the cost of the Constitution.

Tony Perkins is with the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C.

Comment: We must keep in mind that the supporters of the Akaka Bill are lawyers from the Shogunate of Hawaii where if you have the numbers you do as you please. And ... the perception of reality is Reality!

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 10/26/2007 07:10 am - reply- forum

To all:

Shark sighted off Chun's Reef, lifeguards urge caution

Advertiser Staff

An HPD helicopter spotted what appeared to be a 12 -15 foot tiger shark off of Chun's Reef on the North Shore early this afternoon.

Police notified the Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services Division and the following actions were taken:

Shark sighting signs have been posted at both the Chun's Reef and the Laniakea areas. Shark sighting signs will remain up for the remainder of the day and a re-assessment will be done again Sunday morning to determine if the signs will need to posted or not.

Lifeguards patrolled the areas and warned everyone in the water that there had been a confirmed shark sighting. Most people were cooperative and cleared the area.

Lifeguards will continue to patrol the areas until closing time today, 5:30 p.m.

The Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services Division does not have the authority to close the beaches, but lifeguards are strongly urging people to stay out of the waters in the areas where the shark was seen.

No injuries were reported and the shark did not appear to be exhibiting any aggressive behavior.

Comment: Shark reports have been noted along a number of the island shores lately. This is the first report of a tiger shark. A tiger shark will attack humans. Tigers venture near shore for one reason: they are hungry!

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 10/28/2007 01:56 am - reply- forum

To all:

Shark Bite:

Hawaii shark attacks California visitor

Advertiser Staff

WAILEA, Maui A 32-year-old California man was bitten on the leg by a shark yesterday while floating on his back about 25 yards from shore in Wailea.

The incident occurred about 3:30 p.m. in choppy, murky water between the Four Seasons Resort and the Grand Wailea Resort, said Randy Awo, chief conservation officer on Maui for the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

The victim, a resident of West Hollywood, was treated at Maui Memorial Medical Center for a bite wound on his left calf, Awo said. The man told officials he was floating in water that was about 25 feet deep when a "gray" shark chomped on his leg. He was unable to provide a more detailed description of the predator.

As a result of the shark attack, two miles of Wailea shoreline were closed to swimmers yesterday and will remain closed at least until this morning, when county ocean safety officers, state conservation officers and fire personnel will check the area for sharks.

On Oct. 21, authorities closed Kama'ole Beach Park and Keawakapu Beach farther north on the South Maui coastline after shark sightings. That shark was believed to have been a hammerhead, which generally is not considered as dangerous to humans as tiger sharks and other species responsible for most shark bites in Hawai'i.

The hammerhead is not a suspect in yesterday's incident because the animal was found dead Thursday in an illegal gill net.

The most recent previous shark bite in Hawai'i was Aug. 28, when a 15-year-old bodysurfer was nipped on the foot near the Crouching Lion restaurant in Ka'a'awa.

The most recent previous shark incident on Maui occurred May 7, when a woman was bitten while snorkeling at Keawakapu Beach.

Other encounters between sharks and humans this year include:

July 19: A snorkeler's left leg was bitten off in Waimanalo;

June 24: A shark bit into a surfer's board at Silva's Channel in Mokule'ia;

Jan. 5: A shark grabbed a surfer's board at Waikapua Bay off Mana, Kaua'i.

Last year, there were four shark attacks in Hawai'i, two each off Maui and O'ahu.

An average of three to five shark attacks occur annually in the Islands. The last fatal attack occurred April 7, 2004, when a surfer was mauled by a tiger shark at "S Turns" at Kahana, Maui.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 10/30/2007 07:45 am - reply- forum

To all:

South shore to see 12 to 16 foot surf today

Advertiser Staff

Surf along south facing shores is expected to hit eight to 12 feet by this afternoon and increase to unusually high waves of 12 to 16 feet later today.

The weather service warns boaters that the swell could cause harbor surges.

"A south swell like this is pretty unusual for this late in the year," said John Bravender, National Weather Service meteorologist. "Usually south swells are in the summer. A high surf warning of 15 feet for the south shore is pretty unusual for any time of the year."

The National Weather Service has issued a high surf warning for south facing shores for Ni'hau, Kauai, O'ahu, Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe, Maui and the Big Island. A high surf warning means that there are dangerous swimming conditions with deadly rip currents. Swimmers and surfers are advised to stay away from the shoreline. The warning will remain in effect through 6 p.m. Monday.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 11/04/2007 08:00 pm - reply- forum

To all:

North Shore surf may hit 12 feet today

Advertiser Staff

The surf is getting bigger on the North Shore.

The National Weather Service's latest forecast calls for surf along northern shores to increase to 9 feet to 12 feet by late this afternoon. Overnight, the surf has been in the 6- to 9-foot range.

Surf is also increasing along west-facing shores and will be 7 feet to 9 feet later this afternoon.

Surf will be 3 feet or less along east and south shores.

Today's surf along north and west shores is being produced by a northwest swell that could approach advisory levels later tonight or tomorrow morning. This swell will slowly diminish Thursday. A moderate sized south swell arriving late Thursday will continue through Friday, then slowly subside Saturday

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 11/13/2007 02:24 pm - reply- forum

To all:

Fish goes for the throat

By Rod Thompson

HILO Greg Berry and his wife, Debbie, were treading water at "Beach 69" in West Hawaii on Thanksgiving Day when a foot-long needlefish speared Debbie in the neck.

"Beautiful Day. Water all sparkly," Debbie later wrote in an e-mail. "We were about 50 feet out, and out of the corner of Greg's eye, he sees a fish bopping along the top of the water.

"Silvery, about a foot long, known as the aha or happy fish over here. All of a sudden he runs into my neck.

"What the heck? First it's kinda funny. Then Gb (Greg) looks at me and all this blood is rushing out."

Comment: The needlefish around Oahu prefer to strike in the eyeball. This fellow must have had bad aim.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 11/24/2007 06:04 pm - reply- forum

To all:

Surf expected to hit 25 feet on North Shore tomorrow

Advertiser Staff

Surf along north-facing shores of O'ahu was expected to diminish overnight to about 8 feet to 12 feet today, according to the National Weather Service.
But a new northwest swell is expected to arrive late today, producing surf in excess of the high-surf warning threshold of 25 feet along north-facing shores by tomorrow morning, forecasters said.

Meanwhile, surf along west-facing shores will diminish to 4 feet to 8 feet today while surf along east- and south-facing shores is expected to be 2 feet to 4 feet.

Surf along north- and west-facing shores is expected to remain at or above the high-surf advisory threshold from Sunday through Wednesday.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 11/30/2007 11:10 am - reply- forum

To all:

Waimea Beach Park closing early as safety measure

Advertiser Staff

The Department of Emergency Management is assisting city lifeguards in closing Waimea Beach Park by 5 p.m. today.

Lifeguards had requested the help in anticipation of rising surf this evening, said John Cummings, spokesman for emergency management.

Volunteers and lifeguards will stay at the beach until dark to ensure that everyone leaves and no one comes in, Cummings said.

Although the roads were bumper-to-bumper traffic this afternoon, the beaches were not crowded. Lifeguards reported the biggest crowd was surfers in the water.

Kerry Atwood, ocean safey officer at Waimea, said lifeguards will stay to make sure all people are out of the water.

Comment: When they close a beach because of high surf, the surf is enormously high and will overrun the beach and the roadways.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 12/03/2007 11:49 pm - reply- forum

To all:

70-foot waves!!!

Giant waves damage 2 north shore Maui parks

Advertiser Staff

Giant waves on Maui today damaged facilities at two north shore public beach parks and injured one tow-in surfer, county officials said in a news release.

Baldwin Beach Park and Ho'okipa Beach Park were both closed at 2:30 p.m. and will remain closed until the areas are declared safe by ocean safety personnel.

At Baldwin Beach Park, wave faces were reported to be 60 feet to 70 feet on the outside reef and a tow-in surfer sustained severe cuts and a possible compound fracture to his leg, officials said.

Two lifeguard vehicles a wave ski and an ATV were picked up by the shorebreak and thrown against a picnic pavilion door at Baldwin Park. The door was broken, and sand

washed into the open-air pavilion.

The waves caused substantial damage to the shoreline with sand piling up in the men's restroom and debris littering the park, according to officials.

"It's rubber boots country in the back parking lot," said Leland Parker, maintenance supervisor for the Coastal Section, East Parks District. "The waves are washing into the parking area and the water just gets backed up, with nowhere to go."

At Ho'okipa Beach Park, wave faces were at 30 feet to 50 feet, according to Archie Kalepa, ocean safety operations supervisor.

Waves washed up the steep stone wall into the pavilions, carrying sand and debris.

"When it's this big, it's actually a lot easier to convince people to stay out of the water," Kalepa said. "It's the people onshore who have to be extremely careful no one should ever turn their back to the ocean, even when they think they're standing in a safe zone."

Kalepa also reported that two surfers were rescued at Honolua Bay on Maui's northwest side. Surf was estimated to be breaking in the 30-foot range.

Comment: Surf is too far Up!

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 12/04/2007 03:32 am - reply- forum

To all:

Hawaii surf reaches 40 feet on North Shore

By Eloise Aguiar
Advertiser North Shore Writer

WAIMEA Although wave faces reached as high as 40 feet yesterday, very little trouble was reported on the North Shore and west-facing beaches of O'ahu.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 12/04/2007 11:15 am - reply- forum

To all:

Some Hawaii surfers take on 80-foot waves

By Christie Wilson
Advertiser Neighbor Island Editor

WAILUKU, Maui "It was the worst lickings I've ever had," said extreme waterman Brett Lickle, describing his wipeout Monday in a wave with an estimated 80-foot face.

Lickle, 47, suffered a severe gash on his left leg during an afternoon session at Outer Sprecks with famed big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton, who stripped naked to fashion his surf trunks into a tourniquet to prevent his tow-in partner from bleeding to death.

"It was the most intense thing I've been through," said Lickle, recuperating yesterday at his Ha'iku home.

Lickle made his name for being the first person along with Dave Kalama to windsurf at the notorious Jaws surfbreak at Peahi, Maui. He also is a member of the original Strap Team that pioneered tow-in surfing, experimenting with foot straps on surfboards. More recently, he invented the SurfBall balance trainer.

Lickle and other big-wave experts said Monday's storm surf created historic swells that rolled in close together, making it more dangerous for personal watercraft operators to swoop in and pick up their surfing partners before the next breaking wave.

"Those were the biggest waves that any of us have seen," said Buzzy Kerbox, another member of Maui's big-wave surfing community.

The storm surf roared in from the northeast in just the right direction to cause the swells to hit the outer reef off Spreckelsville and generate a steep peak, Kerbox said, much like the Teahupoo, also known as Chopo, break in Tahiti.

Lickle said Outer Sprecks is a "secret spot" that "most people don't want anything to do with."

"If ever you're going to find a 100-footer, it's there," he said.

The surf was "pretty monstrous" when Lickle and Hamilton returned to the outer reef in the afternoon after a morning tow-in session. Only one other tow-in team braved the giant waves with them.

Lickle said he was on a Honda AquaTrax three-seat watercraft while Hamilton grasped a tow rope before kicking out of a wave. Lickle turned back and picked up the surfer, but they were unable to outrun the looming 80-foot wall of water.

"I'm in big trouble," Lickle said he told himself before the wave crashed down.

The entire length of his left calf was sliced open by the high-performance aluminum fin on a spare board stowed on the sled trailing the AquaTrax. After surfacing, Lickle reunited with Hamilton, who provided makeshift first aid with his shorts. Lickle said that at that point, they were about three-quarters of a mile from shore.

Hamilton "swam like a bat out of hell" for a half-mile to retrieve the AquaTrax and return to his injured partner, he said. By then, Lickle had been pushed into calmer waters and was no longer in danger of getting slammed by big waves. But with the bleeding from his wound, he said he became worried about "the big guys" tiger sharks known to prowl Maui's coastlines.

The two had a radio on board and were able to call for help. An ambulance was waiting when they came ashore at Baldwin Beach Park in Pa'ia.

More than 50 staples were needed to close the gash on Lickle. As soon as his leg recovers, he said he plans to hit the waves: "That's right."

Although he observed the Outer Sprecks break from shore, Kerbox decided to head to Maui's northwest coast to test the tow-in surf outside Honolua Bay. At about 3:30 p.m., the size of the swells doubled to 40-foot faces, he said.

"It was normal, nice tow-in surfing, but once it got bigger, it just jumped a whole notch," he said. "It was breaking in places we've never seen it break. It went from fun and easy to pretty challenging."

County ocean safety supervisor Archie Kalepa, another well-known tow-in surfer, said surf levels along the north shore continued to drop yesterday from 12 feet to 15 feet at Ho'okipa Beach Park, and 15 to 20 feet at Baldwin Beach Park to "more manageable" levels.

However, both parks remained closed yesterday because of high waves and surf damage.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 12/05/2007 02:34 pm - reply- forum

To all:

Shark gets tangled in Hawaii surfer's gear

By Eloise Aguiar
Advertiser North Shore Writer

A surfer is still marveling at his encounter with a suspected tiger shark that wrestled his board away after becoming entangled in its leash.

Tino Ramirez, who has surfed the North Shore for 40 years, said the shark thrashed about and pulled the surfboard backward and forward in an effort to break free. At one point the board was standing up in the water with its tail down as the shark tried to shake itself loose, he said.

"I felt helpless," said Ramirez, a former reporter for The Advertiser. "I slid off my board to try to get more control over my board. It (the shark) wouldn't let go and kept thrashing around."

He had to give up and let go. As he did so, the shark bit the board and severed the leash, freeing itself.

Ramirez likened the battle over control of the board to a person trying to take a bone from a dog. The harder you pull, the stronger the dog holds on, Ramirez said.

"It felt like that but on a much grander scale," he said. "It (the shark) was amazingly powerful."

Monday was a day off for Ramirez, who works at the University of Hawai'i, and he had just entered the water at Kaiaka State Recreation Area to surf a spot called Walls. Ten minutes of paddling and about 200 yards from shore, he said, he felt a bump from below. The next thing he knew, he was being pulled backward as the shark thrashed about.

All the time on the board he couldn't see the animal. But once in the water, he said, he saw a dorsal fin about 1 foot high and the gray body of a shark that he estimated to be 6 to 8 feet long.

"I was in disbelief, kind of annoyed that this was happening and just trying to figure out how to make it stop," Ramirez said. "That was my biggest concern."

Once the shark bit the board and severed the leash, the board popped out of the water and Ramirez said he jumped back on top of it and paddled out where three surfers were catching waves.

He told them about the incident and paddled back to shore because he said it wasn't safe to surf without a leash.

Ramirez said that in his four decades of surfing he has seen about a dozen sharks and about half of them at this location.

He said he didn't think the shark was out to eat him.

"My feeling is it bumped me and figured I wasn't food and it got tangled in my leash as it was going away," Ramirez said. "I think it was just a big mistake on the shark's part."

Warning signs remained at Kaiaka Bay Beach Park yesterday.


Meanwhile, Randy Honebrink, with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, examined Ramirez's board and the teeth marks on it. As part of his duties, he records shark attacks and sends the information to the International Shark Attack File in Florida.

Given the tooth impression on the board, Honebrink said, the animal was probably a tiger shark, known to look for food at the water's surface. The muddy water caused by last week's heavy rains could have made it difficult for the animal to tell what was there, he said.

"It would not have been able to discern what the surfboard was until he got really close," said Honebrink, education coordinator for the Division of Aquatic Resources.

The DLNR issues warnings about not swimming or surfing in dirty water after storms because sharks are likely to linger there, he said.

Honebrink said it was the first time he had ever heard of a shark getting tangled in a leash.

As for Ramirez, he said he plans to go right back in the water.

"I was in the water with it. If it had wanted to eat me, it could have done that right there," Ramirez said.

"I'm more scared of driving the freeway. That's what really scares me."

Comment: The North Shore of Oahu is becoming like a MacDonald's for tiger sharks.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 12/12/2007 05:29 am - reply- forum

To all:

Extremely high surf reported on Kauai today

Advertiser Staff

HANALEI, Kaua'i Ocean Safety Bureau officials report extremely high surf and dangerous ocean conditions on the north and southwest shores of Kaua'i today.

According to Ocean Safety Bureau acting supervisor Mark McKamey waves breaking on the north shore today have between 15- and 30-foot faces.

"I urge everyone not to do any water activities on the North Shore today, including the Kilauea area," said McKamey.

Surf on the southwest is reportedly big too.

Waves at Polihale and Kekaha today are said to have eight- to 12-foot faces and further out waves are even bigger, 15- to 20-foot faces.

The Ocean Safety Bureau said only two guarded beaches at Po'ipu and Lydgate are recommended for beachgoers today.

For more information about ocean conditions, ask a county lifeguard or log onto

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 01/13/2008 08:24 pm - reply- forum

To all:

Hawaii's North Shore hit by monster swells

Photo gallery: Big surf
Video: Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational called off


Firefighters teamed up with lifeguards to keep people out of the water for much of yesterday, Mensching said. The wave conditions caused the cancellation of the Quiksilver Big Wave Invitational In Memory of Eddie Aikau surf competition yesterday.

The unique one-day event can be held only on a day when wave-face heights are at least in the 30- to 40-foot range and ridable at Waimea Bay.

The waves at Pipeline were estimated in the 18- to 25-foot range and traffic crawled along Kamehameha Highway because of the number of people turning out to see the waves. City lifeguards reported more than 1,200 preventive actions and one rescue on North Shore.

The O'ahu surf was expected to reach 25 to 35 feet last night on the north- and west-facing shores, said Sam Houston, a National Weather Service lead forecaster.

A high-surf warning means dangerous, battering waves will affect shorelines, producing extremely hazardous swimming conditions and rip currents, Houston said.

Comment: Although the article appears contradictory in wave height descriptions, it is not. Surfing wave height is measured from the face of the wave. Surf forecast measures the significant wave height (SWH) which could result in surfing wave heights in excess of twice the SWH. Hence, a 35-foot surf forecast could produce 70-foot wave faces.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 01/14/2008 05:27 am - reply- forum

To all:

Troubled waters

Sandy's gets waves up to 20 feet
Superferry cancels rides due to heavy seas

High surf is normal along the North Shore in the winter, but Sandy's?

There were waves of up to 20 feet Sandy Beach Park and Makapuu yesterday, but the messy "washing machine" conditions disappointed many local surfers.

The Hawaii Superferry canceled its rides yesterday and today because of heavy seas.

Lifeguards, warning everyone to stay out of the water, made four rescues at Sandy Beach Park and two at Makapuu yesterday, according to Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services.

When the waves are so high that they cause ocean-going vessels to remain inport, the word dangerous gets expanded!

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 01/28/2008 10:20 am - reply- forum

To all:


Record number of whales counted

Advertiser Staff

MA'ALAEA, Maui A record number of whales were sighted during the 2008 Great Whale Count on Maui, which recorded a total of 1,726 whale sightings in a three-hour period.

Perfect weather conditions for whale-watching on Saturday and a growing whale population are thought to be the reasons for the unprecedented number of humpback whale sightings.

"It was absolutely gorgeous out there for the Great Whale Count today," said Quincy Gibson, research director for the Pacific Whale Foundation and the coordinator of the count. "The weather was sunny with no clouds, with just a light breeze, little glare and very flat, calm seas just ideal for watching whales."

Saturday's count of 1,726 whale sightings broke the 2006 record of 1,265 humpback whales counted.

The Great Whale Count is an annual event organized by the Pacific Whale Foundation that brings together Maui visitors, residents, and foundation researchers, educators and other staff, to tote up the number of whale sightings from 12 shoreline observation stations.

These counting spots stretched along Maui's southern and western shores, from the Ritz-Carlton in Kapalua to Pu'u Olai in Makena, and included a site at Ho'okipa Beach on Maui's north shore.

Comment: The whale sanctuary is working!

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 02/25/2008 05:14 am - reply- forum

To all:

Shark sightings close Hanalei Bay

Advertiser Staff

Hanalei Bay is closed due to shark sightings in the area. The bay was closed yesterday at around 4 p.m. and will remain closed at least until 4 p.m. today.

According to officials, several tiger sharks, about 10 to 12 feet long, were seen swimming in the middle of Hanalei Bay late yesterday afternoon, and one shark came close to shore, about 15 to 20 yards off the beach.

Beachgoers are advised to stay out of the water. Shark-sighting signs are posted in the area.

For information about ocean safety, please ask a county lifeguard or log on to


From Advertiser:

kepapoalima wrote:

there is an akule boat with a net full of akule sitting in the bay. that always attracts the sharks

From me:

The whales are back in our island waters. Last count was 50 per hour entering our safe zones. Sharks may be venturing closer to shore in order to avoid the whales.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 03/30/2008 10:10 pm - reply- forum

To all:

Shark sightings reported on Kauai's north shore

Advertiser Staff

Ocean Safety officials were advising beachgoers today not to go in the water at Kalihiwai Beach and adjacent areas on Kaua'i's north shore due to shark sightings.

Kaua'i County spokeswoman Mary Daubert said sharks and other sea creatures reportedly are pursuing the carcass of a dead whale seen floating in the area.

Information about Kaua'i ocean safety is available online at

Comment: This time of year whales abound in the Hawaiian Islands' sanctuary.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 04/08/2008 10:40 pm - reply- forum

To all:

Major south swell likely to last through Saturday

Advertiser Staff

An out-of-season south swell has reached Hawaii, resulting in a high surf advisory for the south-facing shores of all islands.

Surf along the south-facing shores on O'ahu is expected to reach 6 to 10 feet, with locally higher sets, throughout the day, the National Weather Service said.

Surf along north- and east-facing shores will be 3 to 5 feet today, while surf along west facing shores is expected to reach 4 to 8 feet, with locally higher sets.

The long-lived northeast swell is finally diminishing. A solid south swell will keep surf above advisory levels along south-facing shores through Saturday before gradually decreasing. A small northwest swell will build Friday, peak near moderate levels over the weekend, and then diminish. No other significant swells are expected.

Comment: For tourists, this is an absolute treat. South swell means huge waves break off Waikiki and Ala Moana. Tourists can observe the huge waves from their hotel rooms. They do not have to rent a car or limosine service and travel out to the North Shore.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 04/18/2008 11:06 am - reply- forum

To all:

High Surf Waikiki:

High surf advisory continues for south-facing shores

Advertiser Staff

A high surf advisory remains in effect until 6 p.m. today for south facing shores on all islands in the state, the National Weather Service said.

A powerful storm east of New Zealand last week generated a large south swell which is expected to continue producing larger than normal surf along south-facing shores through today, the agency said.

Wave faces measured 6 to 10 feet late Thursday but are expected to diminish a bit today to 6 to 8 feet.

Comment: Great surf watching from hotel room balconies!

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 05/02/2008 08:31 am - reply- forum

To all:

Shark video makes national headlines

Updated: June 13, 2008 07:49 PM

Shark video attracting national attention

Shark video attracts attention around the world
Beach goers get up close encounter with sharks

By Walter Makaula

KANEOHE (KHNL) - From the waters of Kaneohe bay to television sets and computer screens across the country, dramatic video you saw first on KHNL News 8, is making headlines across America:

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 06/17/2008 02:00 am - reply- forum

To all:

Great White In Hawaii Waters?

Hawaii diver says he escaped shark
Great white zooms in as 50-year-old ditches spear, hauls into kayak

By Eloise Aguiar
Advertiser Staff Writer

In a blink of an eye a great white shark shot across 50 feet of water toward Stanley Aranita, giving the experienced diver only seconds to ditch his speargun and jump into his kayak to safety.

The 50-year-old Aranita, who has 12 years of diving experience, had just begun his blue-water dive routine yesterday morning off Yokohama Bay on the Leeward Coast when he first spotted the creature about 100 feet away.

It was big, he said, longer than his 14-foot kayak and between 1,000 and 1,500 pounds.

"I seen 500-pound marlins and this was bigger," Aranita said. "I remember its eyes and it looked like it was full or pregnant."

The great white a species rarely seen in Hawai'i was apparently zeroing in on his chum line that he had been scattering to attract ono.

Aranita said it's doubtful that he would be telling this tale if he hadn't taken the time to scan the water all around him in preparation for his dive. He said he was saved by extreme precaution in the water and quick reflexes.

"He would have taken out my leg at least, if I hadn't seen it," Aranita said.

Water conditions were murky yesterday because of the south swell, he said, but the season was right for ono and mahimahi and he was hoping to get a head start before the weekend divers came through.

Aranita, of Wahiawa, said he had heard a big splash when he arrived at his dive spot about 2,000 feet offshore and thought someone had jumped into the water. But when he looked around there was nothing there.

Upon reflection, he said, it might have been the shark killing a big turtle.

He jumped into the ocean and chummed the water for about 15 minutes by crushing akule with his hand. Aranita said he was next to his kayak and drifting with the current, his speargun ready for action. The speargun held an akule just in case an ono came by. Ono like akule, so he would toss the fish out and wait for the ono to take it.

He said the shark was probably attracted to the chum and seemed to follow the bloody guts right to where he was in the water.

As always, he said, he scanned the water 360 degrees to keep watch for fish and predators. Because of the murky conditions Aranita said he didn't see the shark until it was 100 feet away.

Seconds later the animal had closed the gap, making him realize that it was moving at high speed. Even the normal weaving motion that sharks are known for wasn't detectable, Aranita said.

By the time the shark was about 60 feet away he decided to toss the gun with the akule attached and jump in the kayak, he said. In less than two seconds the shark was below him.

"The thing didn't rock back and forth coming toward me," he said. "No rocking, just shooting like a giant one-man sub."

Once in the kayak, he said he threw out anything that might have had the scent of fish on it, including his akule bag and gloves, hoping the great white would go after them.

But before heading to the beach he collected the gear and, "digging out," paddled to shore.

whites rare here
The sighting hasn't been confirmed by anyone else, and Aranita was diving alone.

Bryan Cheplic, spokesman for the city Emergency Services Department, said lifeguards did not see the shark.

Great white sharks are rare in Hawai'i, according to Alan Everson, biologist for the National Marine Fisheries Service. Some have been tracked by satellite from California, Everson said. A couple years ago one was caught on video during a shark tour off Hale'iwa, he said.

William Aila, harbormaster at Wai'anae Boat Harbor, said great white shark teeth can be found in ancient Hawaiian weapons, so he's not surprised to hear about a sighting.

Aila said he's hearing more and more stories of shark sightings as more people are getting out into the ocean and fishing.

"It's not a function of more sharks being out there," he said. "It's a function of more people being out there."

'not much time'
Aranita said he saw the shark from the front and it was impossible to see its tail or dorsal fins, a clear indication of its girth.

He said the shark sighting wasn't a heart-pounding experience because he has seen other sharks, including big tiger sharks.

But this was his first great white, he said, adding that another blue-water diver had reported seeing a great white in the area but he didn't believe the report.

Although he didn't have a camera and couldn't get a picture of the animal, he said he is positive it was a great white shark. He said he was impressed with the animal's speed.

"Now I see why people get eaten alive," Aranita said. "The thing is pretty fast. There's not much time."

Reach Eloise Aguiar at

Comment: There are some 50 local readership comments that provide some humor to this Big Fish story. It does seem unlikely that a Great White would patrol the waters off of Oahu.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 06/28/2008 06:12 pm - reply- forum

To all:

Posted on: Saturday, June 28, 2008 4:07 PM HST

About 200 people stung by box jellyfish
Jellyfish influx may continue tomorrow

Star-Bulletin Staff

Box jellyfish stung about 200 people on the south shore this morning, the second day of a monthly jellyfish influx.

"Please check with lifeguards and heed warning signs," said Bryan Cheplic, spokesman for the Honolulu Emergency Services Department. "Hopefully the influx will subside."

Box jellyfish invade Oahu beaches about 8 to 10 days after a full moon. The full moon was on June 18.

Lifeguards will check this morning for jellyfish and post signs if they are found.

About 2,000 jellyfish washed up on beaches in Waikiki and Ala Moana and 177 people were treated for stings. Five people were taken to area hospitals.

On Friday about 400 were found on south shores and 23 people were treated. No one was taken to the hospital.

Comment: Ouch!

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 06/29/2008 12:14 am - reply- forum

To all:

Posted on: Monday, June 30, 2008 10:36 AM HST

Shark-bitten body found in ocean

Star-Bulletin Staff

HILO >> Human remains with what appeared to be shark bite marks were found in the area where an opihi picker was reported missing Saturday, according to Big Island police.

Police identified the missing man as Nathan Labarios, 58, of Kainaliu, North Kona. He had been camping with friends along the Kau coastline about five miles north of South Point, an area with 40-foot-high sea cliffs and accessible only by four-wheel drive vehicles.

A Fire Department statement said rescue divers taken by county helicopter to the site yesterday found shredded shorts and an opihi bag in the sea.

A second dive "found more definitive evidence of party's fate," the Fire Department statement said without explanation.

Police said "human remains" were found.

Family members approved ending the search following the second dive, the Fire Department said. An autopsy is planned to identify the remains and try to determine cause of death.

Comments: The sharks are hungry!

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 06/30/2008 09:27 pm - reply- forum

To all:

Shark Video

Shark feeding frenzy captured on video

Posted: July 8, 2008 11:02 PM

Updated: July 9, 2008 12:32 AM

By Howard Dashefsky

KAHUKU (KHNL) -- A videographer who prefers to make his living at sea, shared his videotape of an amazing encounter with one of the world's most feared predators.

Alex Werjefelt is no stranger to danger. Last week, he willingly came face to face with it while filming this feeding frenzy about ten miles off of Kahuku. He caught compelling footage of tiger sharks attacking the carcass of a giant sperm whale.

"We found it and we spent the next six hours drifting with it and getting that footage," said Werjefelt. "At first, it was nerve-racking. When we first put the boat in, some sharks came at us a little more aggressively than most of the encounters later on," he continued.

He said two of the sharks seemed to work in tandem, circling their small boat and sizing them up.

"A few pokes and pushes with the paddles and sticks would steer them away from the boat and luckily none of them bit into our boat," described Werjefelt.

A larger support boat was on hand just in case, but Werjefelt said he and everyone else on the smaller boat kept calm for the most part. Werjefelt attributed to their extensive diving experience.

"We've all had a lot of shark encounters so we're pretty experienced when it comes to that. But it was a pretty intense experience and it was pretty interesting."

For those who question the sanity of filming this particular encounter, at such close proximity, he said they all relied on their first hand knowledge of how tiger sharks react.

"Looking at the video is looks crazier than it actually is. It was pretty intense but but I don't think we jeopardized our lives as much as some people might make it out to be," he said. Werjefelt that witnessing the feeding frenzy undoubtedly ranks his top five ocean encounters.

Now the remains of the carcass is on shore in Kahuku. It had washed up about a mile and a half from the Turtle Bay Resort.

Comment: Anyone who dives into the water where tiger sharks are feeding is tired of living!

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 07/09/2008 08:36 am - reply- forum

To all:

Hanalei Bay closed due to shark sighting

Updated: July 16, 2008 03:21 PM

HANALEI, Kauai (KHNL) - Hanalei Bay is closed until further notice due to a shark sighting in the area.

Several sharks between six- to eight-foot long were spotted by lifeguards in the area Wednesday morning.

Kauai Ocean Safety Bureau officials say the beach will be reopened when it is deemed safe for the public to re-enter the water.

Those wanting to spend time at the beach are urged to go to other guarded beaches around the island.

Officials say the beach will be closed for the entire day.

Lifeguards will re-assess the beach Thursday morning and decide if the waters are safe.

Comment: Hanalei Bay (Bali Hai, South Pacific) is where the famous Pulitzer Prize winning movie South Pacific was filmed.,_Hawaii

For the record, Hanalei, Kauai, Hawaii resides in the North Pacific!

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 07/16/2008 09:07 pm - reply- forum

To all:

Posted on: Friday, July 25, 2008 10:11 AM HST

Shark attack reported in Makaha

Star-Bulletin Staff

Emergency officials are investigating an apparent shark bite in Makaha this morning.

About 8:42 a.m., emergency officials received a call about a woman who was injured in the ocean off the Hawaiian Princess at Makaha Beach condo on Lahilahi Street.

Police believe the injury may have been caused by a shark. The victim was taken by ambulance to the Queen's Medical Center. There was no information on the her condition.

Officers in a police helicopter spotted a large shark near the shoreline just after the attack. Ocean Safety officers then cleared people from the ocean within a mile on either side of the apparent attack, said Emergency Services spokesman Bryan Cheplic. They also posted signs warning beachgoers that a shark had been sighted.

Comment: And here I was thinking that sharks left the Native Hawaiian Sovereignty Stronghold residents alone ... professional courtesy!

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 07/25/2008 08:08 pm - reply- forum

To all:

Jellyfish Invasion Closes Hanauma Bay
15 Stung At Hanauma Beach

POSTED: 11:51 am HST July 28, 2008
UPDATED: 2:14 pm HST July 28, 2008

HONOLULU -- Jellyfish stung 15 people at Hanauma Bay on Monday morning, prompting lifeguards to close the beach.

Officials closed the beach at 10:30 a.m. Officials will determine on Tuesday morning whether to reopen the beach.

Lifeguards also found more than 500 jellyfish on Waikiki Beach. There were some people stung there, but not as many as at Hanauma Bay.

The influx is part of the monthly invasion by the creatures that happens seven to 10 days after a full moon.

Beachgoers are advised to look for posted warnings signs, or to check with a lifeguard, if they are allergic to jellyfish stings, or do not want to get stung.

The jellyfish can cause a painful sting that can be dangerous for those who are allergic to the toxins. Officials said that pouring vinegar over the affected areas can help ease the sting.

Anyone who suffers breathing problems, muscle spasms or constant pain should get immediate medical attention, ocean safety officials said.

Comment: Invasion reads terribly menacing for an event that occurs monthly!

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 07/29/2008 02:57 pm - reply- forum

To all:

Ala Moana Beach Under Shark Warning!

Lifeguards Post Shark Warning Signs At Ala Moana
Shark Possibly Bit Diver's Bag

POSTED: 3:54 pm HST August 11, 2008
UPDATED: 4:20 pm HST August 11, 2008

HONOLULU -- Lifeguards at Ala Moana Beach Park posted shark-warning signs around Magic Island on Monday afternoon after a diver reported an incident in the water.

It happened at about 2 p.m.

It appears a shark bit a skin diver's catch bag of fish while he was in the water, Department of Ocean Safety officials said.

No one was injured.

The diver said he saw what appeared to be a tiger shark that was about 12 feet long.

After examining the bag and because it happened in an area with a lot of people, Ocean Safety officials decided to close the area.

Comment: Maybe The Messiah Obama (Barry Soetoro) has friends in deep places. Professional courtesy?

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 08/12/2008 06:31 am - reply- forum

To all:

Shark sighting closes Hanalei Bay on Kauai
Read comments (1)

Advertiser Staff

Hanalei Bay will remain closed until at least Sunday morning because of a shark sighting today. Signs are posted and people are advised to stay out of the water. For more information please ask a lifeguard or go to

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 08/23/2008 09:36 pm - reply- forum

To all:

Shark sighting closes Kauai's Kee Beach

Advertiser Staff

Ke'e Beach in Ha'ena is closed this afternoon due to a shark sighting in the area and will remain closed at least until tomorrow morning.

Ocean Safety officials said a six- to seven-foot Black Tip shark was spotted in the lagoon this afternoon.

"No swimming allowed" signs are posted in the area along with warnings of the shark sighting.

Comment: Someone has to break the news to this poor fellow that he missed Obama!

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 08/28/2008 11:33 pm - reply- forum

To all:

Search called off with evidence of shark attack
A Big Island man is missing at sea

Star-Bulletin Staff

Firefighters called off an ocean search for a 24-year-old man this afternoon after rescuers found some of his clothing that appeared to have been hit by a shark.

Police identified the man as Kameron Brown of Pahoa.

Firefighters said after finding Brown's clothing and speaking with the man's family, they decided to call off the search at about 2 p.m. for the safety of the divers, said Battalion Chief Darren Rosario.

A large white shark was seen in the area earlier in the day, Rosario said.

Brown was reported in trouble at McKenzie Beach Park in Pahoa at 7:20 p.m., according to a Big Island fire news release.

He tried to climb onto some rocks in rough surf, and fishermen on shore tried to throw him ropes and a plastic gallon, firefighters said. But Brown never made it to shore.

Bystanders last saw Brown drifting south out of range of flash lights that search parties were using on shore.

About 10 firefighters searched by boat and on shore Saturday night. A fire helicopter joined the search Sunday morning and five divers took three dives but didn't find any human remains.

Comment: Do not fall into the ocean at night where the currents are strong. It is when the sharks feed.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 08/31/2008 09:57 pm - reply- forum

To all:

Great White!

Great white shark spotted in area of missing swimmer
Read comments (2)

By Dan Nakaso
Advertiser Staff Writer

A Great White shark was spotted today about an eighth-of-a mile from where Big Island firefighters found tattered board shots belonging to a missing 27-year-old swimmer.

The white shorts appeared to have teeth marks in them, said Battalion Chief Darren Rosario.

"The shorts were torn with strong evidence that a shark had hit it," Rosario said. "They had teeth patterns like a shark bite."

But it remains a mystery whether the bites were related to the swimmer's disappearance, Rosario said.

"Nobody will ever know that," said Chadwick Chun Fat, a Big Island fire rescue specialist who saw the great white shark from a helicopter and later dived into the ocean and found parts of the tattered shorts and pieces of underwear belonging to the missing swimmer.

The shark was spotted today swimming parallel to McKenzie State Park where the swimmer was swept away from the steep and rocky shoreline last night during a night of drinking and partying.

"It was very big," Chun Fat said.

He compared the shark to the size of a 25-foot boat, with a blunt snout and large tail, pectoral and dorsal fins.

"We thought maybe it was a big Tiger shark at first but then we flew at it with the sun at our back and said, 'That's no tiger shark,'" Chun Fat said. "It had no stripes, just dark gray. It looked like a big, stubby submarine."

Chun Fat is both a commercial fisherman and avid diver and said, "We see a lot of sharks out here Galapagos, Tigers but that's the first time I've seen a great white in person."

The shark's dorsal fin stuck about a foot out of the ocean and its tail fin also broke the surface of the water until the helicopter flew close by.

Even then, the shark dipped just below the surface of the ocean, Chun Fat said.

The missing man had been drinking at McKenzie State Park Saturday night when he jumped into the ocean just before dark and got into trouble.

Friends threw him makeshift flotation and tried to string ropes together, but they could not reach him, Chun Fat said.

The rocky shoreline features 30-foot cliffs and a strong ocean surge, Chun Fat said.

Fire officials today showed the tattered shorts to the man's family and the search for his body was suspended, Rosario said.

Comment: Drinking and diving into the ocean where strong currents exist, read like recipe for suicide!

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 09/01/2008 03:13 am - reply- forum

To all:

Posted on: Saturday, September 6, 2008 2:27 PM HST

Big Island beaches closed after shark sighting
Closure of Hapuna and Wailea beaches will be re-evaluated tomorrow

Star-Bulletin Staff

Big Island officials closed Hapuna and Wailea beaches this afternoon after a 12-foot tiger shart was sseen about 30 yards off shore, according to an e-mailed news release from the Fire Department and Ocean Safety Division.
Anyone planning to visit beaches in the South Kohala area are asked to exercise caution and obey any posted warnings from the Department of Natural Resources.

Big Island firefighters and state officials are monitoring the water for shark activity and will re-evaluate the closure tomorrow morning.

Comment: When tigers come close to shore, they are hungry!

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 09/06/2008 09:11 pm - reply- forum

To all:

Posted on: Saturday, September 6, 2008 6:39 PM HST

Kailua, Lanikai and Bellows beaches closed after shark sighting
Officials are also investigating a possible body in the water

Star-Bulletin Staff

Officials have closed beaches on the windward side of Oahu while they investigate reports of a body in the water off of Bellows beach and a large shark exhibiting aggressive behavior near Kailua Beach.

City Department of Emergency Services spokesman Bryan Cheplic said lifeguards, police and the fire department were originally called out at about 3:30 p.m. because of a report of intestinal remains found near Kailua Beach.

However, Cheplic emphasized that it has not been determined if the remains are human. The Medical Examiner's Office still has to make that determination, he said.

While investigating the report, officials noticed a large shark behaving aggressively and called the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to close the beach, Cheplic said.

Federal lifeguards on Jetskis from Bellows Beach were called to help with the beach closure, but they received a report of a body in the water and are now investigating that call, Cheplic said.

No body has been located as of early this evening, Cheplic said.

Signs have been posted from Kailua Beach Park to Bellows warning people to stay out of the water.

The Fire Department has set up a command post to help with the search for a possible body.

Comment: If the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) desired to do something ... anything ... to assist the beachgoers, they could commission one of their official, cultural expert shark-whisperers to persuade the nasty fellow to swim over to the North Western Hawaiian Islands monument. If the nasty fellow remains here long enough, he might petition US Senator Inouye for a federal entitlement, claiming his kin have preyed and eaten true Native Hawaiians in these waters since before Captain Cook arrived (1776).

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 09/07/2008 06:03 am - reply- forum

To all:

Three Big Island beach parks closed due to shark sightings

Posted: Sep 8, 2008 04:07 PM

Updated: Sep 8, 2008 04:45 PM

KONA, Big Island (KHNL) - Three beach parks along Kona coast on the Big Island are closed due to shark sightings on Monday.

Ocean safety officials say there are confirmed reports of 15 large sharks, ranging in size from 6 to 15 feet, from Waialea Bay to Kawaihae Small Boat Harbor area.

The species of the sharks is still unknown.

"The closures of these three areas are precautionary measures to ensure the safety of the public," says Laura H. Thielen, DLNR Chairperson.

The three beach parks will remain closed for the rest of the day until an assessment Tuesday morning in which officials will determine to either open the beaches or issue orders to keep the beaches closed.

Last Friday, the area of Waialea Bay and Hapuna Beach SRA were closed due to a shark sighting.

Comment: 15 large sharks! Must be buffet time! You can tell that it is election time!

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 09/09/2008 06:09 am - reply- forum

To all:

Another Shark Attack!

Surfer injured in Kaaawa shark attack attack
Read comments (3)

Advertiser Staff

A 40-year-old male surfer suffered injuries to his right leg today in a shark attack at Ka'a'awa near the Crouching Lion restaurant.

The attack was reported at 5:01 p.m.

The man fought off the shark and paddled to shore with assistance from a surfing companion. Firefighters administered medical aid to the victim on shore before turning him over to Emergency Medical Services personnel, said HFD spokesman Capt. Robert Main.

City Emergency Services Department spokesman Bryan Cheplic said the man was taken to the hospital in serious condition.

The man reportedly had a 15-inch open wound on his right leg and a smaller wound to the hamstring area of the same leg. He also had in juries to his fingers from fighting off the shark.

Ocean Safety personnel on rescue crafts went out to clear the water of surfers and warning signs have been posted although the area is an unguarded beach, Cheplic said. Officials plan to reassess the situation tomorrow morning.

According to fire officials, the shark grabbed the surfer's thigh and part of his lower right leg, and took a chunk out of his board as well.

The shark apparently was swimming parallel with the board when the attack occurred.

The waves in the area this afternoon were about 2 feet, and the water wasn't real clear, but surfers described it as a good day for surfing fun kind of surf.

Some local newspaper readership comments:

PaperCrane wrote:

Remembering Billy Weaver who got killed by a shark in the late 50's surfing off Lanikai; soon after the incident, paid bounty for hooking or eliminating sharks was annouced. Shark bounty hunters were doing their thing successfully and since then siting of sharks or shark attacks was extinct until the late 70's. I know the shark population has grown more then triple and their search for feeding grounds has taken them more inland and closer to the shoreline. In the early 60's, I use to surf at Kahana Bay only when the surf were unusually fat and the swells running clearly across the bay which would give anyone a long long ride to shore. Back then, I wasn't worried about bradda jack and it never came to mind and least of my worries. It's 2008 now so what should we do about these unpredictable predators who often prey on humans for their meal? Just think, there's no such thing as haoles being shark bait due to their white skin; the bradda Jack today bait is bait, white, yellow,or black.
09/09/2008 7:01:18 p.m.


Shark sightings everywhere on all islands, now a attack. We are in thier home so what can we expect of these amazing creatures. We can only hope this fellow survives to surf again.
09/09/2008 6:11:11 p.m.

Comment: Surfers have become a buffet for hungry sharks. Although many experts have claimed that the sharks merely mistake the surfers for seals, I suspect the sharks, in around the Hawaiian Islands, have taken a liking to surfer appendages.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 09/10/2008 12:21 am - reply- forum

To all:

Shark advisory issued to Hawaii ocean users
Read comments (8)

Advertiser Staff

HONOLULU The Department of Land and Natural Resources is urging all ocean users to be wary of sharks when in the water, citing current reports of large sharks in Hawai'i's nearshore waters and the shark bite of a surfer on Tuesday.

"Do not enter the water where shark warning signs are posted; in all other areas please exercise caution when entering the water," stated Laura H. Thielen, DLNR Chairperson.

Although there is no definitive explanation for increased shark presence in nearshore waters, experienced fishermen and scientists know that some shark species come into shallower waters during this time of year for spawning, which increases the chances of interaction between sharks and people, DLNR officials said.

In addition to the shark attack Tuesday on a surfer off Kahana Bay, other incidents within the past year include:

July 25, 2008, a woman snorkeling off Makaha, O'ahu, was bitten,

December 2007, in Kaiaka, O'ahu, a surfer was bit by a shark while on his surfboard,

October 2007, in Kihei, Maui, a swimmer was bit on the leg by a shark, and

About a year ago, another surfer was bitten on the foot near Kahana Bay.

DLNR officials said they strongly urge the public to heed the following precautionary measures:

1. Swim, surf, or dive with other people, and don't move too far away from assistance.

2. Stay out of the water at dawn, dusk and night, when some species of sharks may move inshore to feed.

3. Do not enter the water if you have open wounds or are bleeding in any way. Sharks can detect blood and body fluids in extremely small concentrations.

4. Avoid murky waters, harbor entrances, and areas near stream mouths (especially after heavy rains), channels or steep drop-offs. These types of waters are known to be frequented by sharks.

5. Do not wear high-contrast clothing or shiny jewelry. Sharks see contrast very well.

6. Refrain from excessive splashing; keep pets, which swim erratically, out of the water. Sharks are known to be attracted to such activity.

7. Do not enter the water if sharks are known to be present. Leave the water quickly and calmly if one is sighted. Do not provoke or harass a shark, even a small one.

8. If fish or turtles start to behave erratically, leave the water. Avoid swimming near dolphins, as they are prey for some large sharks.

9. Remove speared fish from the water or tow them a safe distance behind you. Do not swim near people fishing or spear fishing. Stay away from dead animals in the water.

10. Swim or surf at beaches patrolled by lifeguards and follow their advice.

Finally, if you see a shark, or have been injured by one, call 911.

There also have been a number of sightings recently off the West Coast of the Big Island and one on its East Coast:

Aug. 26 Confirmed sighting of a 10-12 foot shark at the boat moorings in Anaeho'omalu Bay. DLNR enforcement and Waikoloa Marriot personnel posted warning signs.

Aug. 30 - Missing swimmer reported off Puna, Hawai'i (MacKenzie State Park, East Hawai'i); search attempts encounter presence of a large shark, reputed to be a Great White shark.

Sept. 2 - Assessments confirmed shark sighting, very close to shore, near Hapuna Beach (beach closed but park remained open). Later that afternoon: confirmed shark sighting very close to shore. Waialea Bay section of the State Park beaches were closed but park remained open.

Sept. 3 - An early morning flyover of the Hapuna area showed no sharks; beaches and parks opened. Later that morning confirmed shark sightings at Kukio (off 4 Seasons, Kona Village) and Mauna Kea Beach Resort. Due to these sightings, Spencer County Beach Park water access was closed.

Sept. 6 - Assessments confirmed shark sighting at Hapuna Beach (park open, beach closed). Beach at Waialea Bay section of State Park also closed.

Sept. 8 - Assessments confirmed school of sharks feeding on a school of fish off Mauna Kea Beach resort. Three beach parks closed (Hapuna, Waialea Bay, Spencer County Beach Park water access prohibited).

Sept. 9 - Confirmed shark sighting off the Mauna Kea Beach Resort; three beach parks were closed (Hapuna, Waialea entire SRA closed; Spencer County Beach Park water access prohibited).

Sept. 10 Confirmed shark sightings between Maumae Beach and Kawaihae Harbor; three beach parks were closed (Hapuna, Waialea entire SRA closed; Spencer County Beach Park closed for routine maintenance through Friday).

Sightings of sharks have also been reported at Hanalei Bay on Kaua'i.

Some local newspaper readership comments:

presort wrote:

The increase in shark attacks is directly related to the weepy environmental extremists who feel that every creature is precious. They eliminated the very effective culling process of shark killing that went on a few decades ago. When "researchers" tell you that shark extinction would be a calamity, they are only protecting their jobs. Extinction is a valid historical process--nature adjusts! As for a religious minority that claims (implausibly) that sharks are their human ancestors, fine--let them refrain from killing sharks, while the rest of us can protect ourselves by culling the beasts. As for sharks (and mosquitoes), exterminate them all!
09/11/2008 7:08:34 a.m.

Kuokoa wrote:

The increase in sharks is directly proportional to the increase in green sea trutles and Hawaiian monk seals in the islands. Take away the sharks major source of food and they will go away. These turtles and seals are protected and are growing in numbers and for some unknown reason, they seem to know that and come closer to shore. The natural order of things says that their predators will increase to control their numbers.
09/11/2008 7:38:07 a.m.

Comment: It is election time for Democrats! Sharks know when the stupid animals flock to the beaches (Shark MacDonalds).

The food idea has merit when coupled with the fact that some local tour guides offer shark-feeding sessions.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 09/11/2008 01:49 pm - reply- forum

To all:

Big Waves North Shore!

Big waves on Oahu's north shore keep lifeguards busy

Posted: Oct 13, 2008 03:39 PM

Updated: Oct 13, 2008 07:28 PM

By Roger Mari

NORTH SHORE (KHNL) - The first big swell on Oahu's north shore has lifeguards on high alert.

They've been training all summer long for the big winter surf.

Monday they had their hands full. We watched lifeguards in action at Rock Piles and at Sharks Cove.

These kids look like they're having fun, but in an instant, the big surf could sweep them into the ocean.

"Excuse me, can you stop a second and listen? I would give you some very good advice," said lifeguard captain Bodo Van Der Leeden. "With doing what you're doing you could have a tragedy real easy on a day like today."

Lifeguards on the north shore keep a watchful eye from lifeguard stands, all terrain vehicles and on jet skis. It's a big responsibility but putting their lives on the line to save others is what they enjoy.

"They love the big surf, they have the ability, they know what they're doing and translating it in to keeping people safe is pretty rewarding for all of them," said Van Der Leeden.

It's not only the inexperienced who are at risk. Cameron Peterson is an accomplished swimmer, but on this discoverers day he finds out he is no match for mother nature.

"I was swimming and the surf got real big," said Peterson. "The swell started dragging me out at Sharks Cove. It turns out it was an unwise decision and they came out and rescued me."

Even the placement of signs is important, but it's not as effective as educating both the experienced and inexperienced.

"The rest is all about patrolling and making public contact because a lot of people just walk right by the signs and don't notice them," said Van Der Leeden.

There are only 20 lifeguards patrolling seven miles of Oahu north shore beaches, encouraging people to also watch out for one another.

Lifeguards are out on patrol from 9-t0-5, but they'll be working overtime on the north shore until the waves drop in size.

Comment: Why now? Truly, the Big Waves are early. Something must be up in the North Pacific in order to bring these giants to the North Shore in October.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 10/14/2008 11:51 am - reply- forum

To all:

4 sharks sighted at Waimea Bay; warning posted
Read comments (3)

Advertiser Staff

Warning signs posted today at Waimea Bay after city Ocean Safety & Lifeguard Services personnel saw four sharks will remain up until tomorrow morning.

Department of Emergency Services spokesman Bryan Cheplic said the sharks spotted in the bay between 8:30 and 9 a.m. were between 6 and 7 feet long. The sharks were feeding on schools of opelu (mackerel scad) and halalu (juvenile akule or big-eyed scad) in the bay, Cheplic said.

Officials plan to evaluate the situation tomorrow before making a decision on the signs.

Comment: When the 7-footers get a little longer, they will feed on surfers.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 11/04/2008 04:20 am - reply- forum

To all:

Surf: Monster swell due in on Sunday | | The Honolulu Advertiser

Surf: Monster swell due in on Sunday
Advertiser Staff

Surf along the north-facing shores of O'ahu is on the rise and is expected to reach heights of 5 to 7 feet today, the National Weather Service said.

Elsewhere, look for surf of 2 to 4 feet along west-facing shores; 4 to 6 feet along east-facing shores and 1 to 3 feet along south-facing shores.

Outlook through Sunday, Nov. 30: A large northwest swell is expected to push surf heights to the advisory level when it arrives Friday. It will likely exceed the warning level of 25 feet for north-facing shores, and possibly the warning level of 20 feet along exposed west-facing shores for the weekend.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 11/25/2008 05:50 pm - reply- forum

To all:

Monster surf expected to arrive by this evening | | The Honolulu Advertiser

Monster surf expected to arrive by this evening
Advertiser Staff

The National Weather Service has issued a high surf advisory, effective at 6 a.m. today, for the north- and west-facing shores of Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai and Maui.

The advisory will be upgraded to a high surf waring as of 6 p.m. today, forecasters said, with the warning expected to remain in place through 6 p.m. Sunday.

A large swell out of the northwest will produce advisory level surf today and is expected to continue to build throughout the day and tomorrow, leading to warning-level surf by tonight, forecasters said.

Wave faces along the north-facing shores of the affected islands are expected to reach 10 to 16 feet today and continue climbing over night, exceeding the 25-foot north-facing shores warning level by Saturday morning.

Surf along west-facing shores is also expected to build, resulting in wave-faces approaching the 20-foot warning level by Saturday morning.

A high surf "advisory" means that high surf will affect beaches in the advisory area, producing strong rip currents and localized beach erosion.

A high surf "warning" means that dangerous, battering waves will pound the shoreline, resulting in very dangerous swimming and surfing conditions and especially deadly rip currents.

Elsewhere today on Oahu, look for surf of to 3 to 5 feet along east-facing shores and 1 to 3 feet along south-facing shores.

Comment: A translation of this article would read: Stay Clear of the Shoreline!

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 11/28/2008 09:34 am - reply- forum

To all:

North Shore's 25-foot waves: 'Don't get too close'
Read comments (3)

Advertiser Staff

The National Weather Service has issued a high surf warning through tomorrow and Friday for O'ahu's North Shore. The weather service predicted that wave faces of up to 25 feet would continue through both days due to a new northwest swell arriving tonight.

Forecaster Norman Hui urged people traveling to the North Shore to see the area's famous big waves to avoid going into the ocean, and even to keep a distance from the shoreline.

"Don't get too close to the coast," he said this evening. "A rogue wave could might come in and get you. And it always helps to check with a lifeguard."

Otherwise, Hui said trades winds are expected to come in from the east at around 15 mph, providing excellent surfing conditions for those with the experience and qualifications to ride the mammoth waves.

He said the surf will slowly decline over the weekend.

Comment: Wave face means the distance between the creat and trough of the wave face (shoreline observer's view). The local Hawaii method employs a different measurement favoring the surfer's view:

In Hawaii, the way most locals call wave heights is using the "Hawaiian scale." It roughly translates to around half of the wave face height. Thus, a three-foot Hawaiian scale wave has about a six-foot face (what some would consider "head-high"), six-foot Hawaiian has about a 12-foot face (around "double-overhead"), and so on. The Hawaiian scale seems to get somewhat more nebulous the higher you get, with a lot more bull$#it and/or bravado coming into the picture. Interestingly, it seems the Hawaiian scale is slightly different between the North Shore and Town, with us "Townies" calling it slightly higher than the Country guys would.

How the "Hawaiian scale" came about is an issue that's shrouded in mystery. Some say the scale measures waves "from the back." When a wave starts to break, it draws water from shore so that the wave trough in the front drops below mean sea level, making the face bigger than the back. Most people scoff at this "from the back" concept, saying that it's impossible to measure the waves from shore, and nobody surfs the back of the wave anyway. Point taken.

Another thought was that the scale was created by California "sandbaggers" who intentionally called the waves smaller than they really were to scare off newcomers. These North Shore pioneers were a fairly tight crew who were always pushing each other to ride bigger and bigger waves, and I could imagine them cutting down each other's calls. More reasonable, but still suspect since wide proliferation of the standard would be difficult.

Recently however, former big wave aficionado Ricky Grigg (who happened to be one of those aforementioned pioneers) wrote a story in The Surfer's Journal (volume 12, number 1) describing his opinion on how the Hawaiian scale got established. He said that back in the day, when the lifeguards made their daily surf height reports they would purposely call it smaller than it really was. Lowering the report typically meant fewer beachgoers for them to worry about and allowed them (most surfers themselves) more time to partake in the waves. As time went by, Grigg surmised that the scale slowly evolved into what it is today. This is the most plausible explanation I've ever heard.

Regardless of how the Hawaiian scale came about, we seem to be pretty well entrenched in it. It has been reinforced and perpetuated by the media, with U.S. surf magazines and local surf reporters aligning with this standard.

With Aloha,

# Posted by harry at 12/04/2008 04:43 am - reply- forum

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