Five surfers rescued after getting into distress offshore of Kahalu'u Beach Park Saturday evening (January 25th).
The Hawaii Fire Department (HFD) along with the Hawaii Police Department (HPD) responded to reports of surfers in distress offshore of Kahalu'u Beach Park in Keauhou Saturday evening (January 25th).
The initial call came in at 6:31 pm Saturday evening and HFD crews from the Keauhou and Kailua (Rescue Company 7) Fire Stations along with Battalion 2, Chopper 2, and HPD officers from the Kona Patrol responded to scene located approximately 50 yards offshore north of Kahalu'u Beach Park in Keauhou, closer to St. Peter's by the Sea Catholic church.
Upon the arrival of emergency crews, bystanders from shore reported that initially, 2 surfers were unable to get back to shore on their own due to the high surf and strong undertow in the bay. 3 other surfers paddled out to the location of the 2 surfers, however unable to paddle back to shore safely, they remained in place in calmer waters until HFD crews could arrive on scene.
Once on emergency crews arrived on the scene, HFD crews immediately located the surfers approximately 50 yds offshore of St. Peter's by the Sea Catholic Church. Due to the rough ocean conditions and nightfall, HFD Rescue personnel were not able to safely swim/paddle out to check on the status of the parties and had to utilized Rescue Boat 7 to bring the parties back safely to shore. Ground personnel illuminated Kahalu'u Bay while Chopper 2 hovered over the location of the surfers and continued to monitor their status, which at the time did not appear in any more distress and just awaiting the arrival of Rescue Boat 7 to bring them back to shore.
At 7:39 pm Saturday evening, HFD Rescue Boat 7 personnel had all parties safely aboard the vessel with no injuries and brought them back to Keauhou Pier.
A High Surf Advisory was in effect for West Hawaii shores at the time of the incident and Ocean Safety Lifeguards at Kahalu'u Beach earlier in the day warned beachgoers of a strong current/undertow in the water on the north end of the bay.