Hawaii ocean safety concerns emanate from strong currents, wave surges, the hidden rocks which frequent Hawaii beaches, and hazardous shore areas.
Dangerous ocean conditions are always possible in Hawaii. In the summer you’ll typically find them on our south shores whereas in winter they are frequently seen on our north shores. East and west shores are more variable.
Unfortunately, it’s often visitors who become injured or lose their lives in Hawaii ocean and river incidents. A lack of familiarity with Hawaii ocean conditions and a lack of appropriate caution are significant causal factors.
How to protect yourself on your Hawaii vacation while enjoying the spectacular ocean?
- Read the ocean safety brochure you’ll find in your hotel room.
- Swim at lifeguard protected Hawaii beaches.
- Heed beach warning signs and talk with a lifeguard before entering the water if in doubt.
- Check the Hawaii Lifeguard Association’s Hawaii Beach Safety website which provides daily updates on ocean conditions on all Hawaiian Islands.
- Use extra caution on wet rocks where waves can surprise you unexpectedly.
- Understand rip currents. These are not easily visible. Learn how to spot them and what to do if you find yourself in one.
You can almost always find safe places to be in the water in Hawaii at any time of year.