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Hawaii Island Information Update # 2 for December 31st, 2019

A High Surf Warning for the West Shores of Hawaii Island continues to remains in effect until 6 am Wednesday morning (January 1st, 2020).

Due to the High Surf Warning, the following beaches have been closed on Tuesday: Mahukona Wharf, Spencer Beach Park, Kauna'oa and Mau'umae Beaches. Also, camping permits at Spencer Beach Park have been suspended for today as well. The conditions will be reassessed tomorrow morning.

HFD reports one person was rescued in the South Kohala District offshore of the Fairmont Orchid at Mauna Lani Resort Tuesday afternoon.

The Hawaii County Civil Defense reports High Surf Warning issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) has forced the closure of several Kohala Coast beaches Tuesday (December 31st).

The following beaches have been closed due to the High Surf:

  • Mau'umae Beach

  • Kauna'oa Beach (Maunakea Beach)

  • Spencer Beach Park*

  • Mahukona Wharf

Also, camping permits for Spencer Beach Park for Tuesday, December 31st, 2019, have also been suspended due to the High Surf.

Reports from HIRSC team moderators and also Admin Ben reports swelling facing from chest to over-head size surf was spotted at Mau'umae Beach and also Anaeho'omalu Bay (which still remains open at this time). Chest to head high sets were also reported at Manini'owali Bay (Kua Bay), Mahia'ula Bay, O'oma Beach, and also at Kamakahonu Bay (Kailua Pier).

Lifeguards at Kua Bay and Hapuna Beach had also posted warning signs to warn beachgoers of high surf conditions. Ocean Safety Lifeguards stationed at West Hawaii beaches had stayed on-duty an extra hour to monitor conditions. Crews will assess conditions at first light tomorrow to determine if the beaches are safe to reopen to the public.

HFD responded to one rescue related to the high surf conditions in the South Kohala district, details on that incident, please click here.

NWS statement as of 3:33 pm Tuesday afternoon:


* WHAT...Surf of 20 to 25 feet along north and west facing shores
  of Niihau and Kauai and along north facing shores of Oahu,
  Molokai and Maui. Surf of 15 to 20 feet along west facing shores
  of Oahu. Surf of 10 to 15 feet along west facing shores of the
  Big Island.

* WHERE...North and west facing shores of Niihau, Kauai, Oahu,
  and Molokai, north facing shores of Maui, and west facing
  shores of the Big Island.

* WHEN...Until 6 AM New Year`s Day.

* IMPACTS...Very High...Expect ocean water surging over the
  coastline, creating the potential for damage to coastal
  properties and infrastructure. Powerful currents will be
  present at most beaches. Large breaking waves and strong
  currents may impact harbor entrances causing challenging boat
  handling. Anyone entering the water could face death.


Stay well away from the water`s edge along the affected
shorelines. Use extreme caution when launching or landing boats
along the affected coasts. Ensure that boats are hauled well away
from the shore.
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