Maui Ocean Safety
Maui Ocean Safety – BE BEACH SMART
|SECURITY: Theft is a big problem at all beaches and parks in Hawaii. Thieves will break windows to get into cars. Always lock your car, do not take valuables to the beach, do not lose your car key in the ocean, do not lock your keys is your car. I would not recommend staying around any beaches after sunset. There are a few thug types that hang out there that will take advantage of isolated or solitary people. Numerous assaults have happened at beach parks to unsuspecting tourists. Even if a local appears friendly and offers to sell you some “weed” (Called “pakalolo” in Hawaiian) in the privacy of the bushes, Don’t go with them.|
|SUN SMART: Most visitors do not realize how strong the sun is in Hawaii. Many people will get badly sunburned in their first hour in the sun. The sun is strongest in the middle of the day, and you could burn in as little as 30 minutes. You usually wont feel the sunburn until the next day. Avoid exposure to the sun, especially from 10am to 2pm. Wear Sunscreen on all exposed skin. Reapply sunscreen after swimming or sweating. reapply every 15 minutes or so. If you are doing water activities, make sure you get a good waterproof sunscreen. Always use a “Reef-Safe” sunscreen, because some sunscreens can harm the reef. It is good to use a gel and/or a chap-stick sunscreen for lips, noses and ears because they don’t wash off as easily. In addition to sunscreen it is also advisable to wear long sleeve shirts and a hat. To protect your eyes from sun damage you can wear polarized sunglasses. For swimming most people will want to wear a Lycra rash-guard. A rash-guard is a Lycra shirt designed to be worn in the water. There are now also looser fit woven fabric shirts for watersports too. These are available at any surf store. Most people do not stay hydrated when in the sun or exercising. Make sure to drink plenty of water. Drinking juices and sweet sodas can actually make you more dehydrated.|
| DRINK SMART: Most people do not stay hydrated when in the sun or exercising. Make sure to drink plenty of water. Drinking juices and sweet sodas is not recommended because it can actually make you more dehydrated. Drinking beer at the beach is one of the worst things you can do. Alcohol accelerates dehydration, and can lead to the early onset of heatstroke. Definitely do not drink if you are attempting any physical exercise or water sport. Better to fill your cooler with; water, flavored waters, Gatorade lite, type drinks.
Dehydration increases risk of heart attack and stroke: A lot of elderly people have died while snorkeling from strokes and heart attacks. The physical exertion is one factor, but being dehydrated can also be a contributing factor that can increase the likelihood of a heart attack and stroke. So always be sure to consciously hydrate before all physical activity.
|SEA SMART: Do not dive into dirty, murky or shallow water. Do not swim far from shore, do not dive into shallow water, do not dive into the water if you can not clearly see the bottom. After rain many areas will get runoff that is usually dirty or full of debris. Avoid ocean swimming directly after heavy rains. Never turn your back to the ocean. Keep away from the wave action. Set up your beach camp well away from the water’s edge. Large waves can arrive suddenly and wash your gear away. Keep an eye on the ocean at all times.|
|STAY AWAY FROM FISHERMAN: Stay away from fishermen, their rods, lines, nets, and baits are in and around the water. You do not want to be in the water with dead or dying fish anyway. Keep a watchful eye while sailing because a fishing line is hard to see. It is better to look instead for fishermen with rods on the beach, and assume they have a line out a long way.|
|STAY AWAY FROM STREAMS: Streams, Storm-water outlets, and rivermo0uths are potentially dangerous. If you set up close to one of these you could find yourself and your gear suddenly washed out to sea. Flash floods are very common in Hawaii, and even if there is sunny skies and no rain in your area, there could be a downpour in the uplands that can cause a flash flood. All of a sudden a stream bed that was dry could be gushing with a strong torrent of water in a short time. During a flash flood even only one foot deep can be too swift to walk across. Streams are no place to hang out or let your kids play in one unattended.|
|OFFSHORE WINDS: Take care when the wind sometimes shifts offshore. Blowing from the land toward the sea. Do not sail, ride, paddle, or swim further out than you are prepared to swim back in. When the wind is northeast on the south shore, nothing stands between you and Tahiti should you break down. There is a small chance you could hit the island of Kooholawe depending on the currents etc, but this is definitely not recommended. People have been stuck out in the water overnight on windsurfers. Better to sail with a buddy and have someone looking out for you too. It is always a good idea for someone to know that you are missing and call 911 before it gets completely dark.|
|SWIM AT PATROLLED BEACHES (But not all of them)
Only certain beaches on Maui have lifeguards. If you are new to ocean swimming or want to have a “safer” experience. Then we strongly recommend only swimming at one of the beaches patrolled by Lifeguards. Swim only in the marked swimming areas that are under the watchful eye of the lifeguards. Look for notices placed by lifeguards to warn of different ocean conditions. Red flags mean beach closed. Note: Not all patrolled beaches are suitable for Swimming!!