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Puna Information Update for January 8th, 2020

An opihi picker rescued in rough ocean conditions offshore of Ha'ena Beach in Puna Tuesday afternoon (January 7th).

The Hawaii Fire Department (HFD) responded to reports of a swimmer/opihi picker in distress in waters offshore of Ha'ena Beach in Puna Tuesday afternoon (January 7th).

The initial call came in at 3:57 pm Tuesday afternoon and HFD crews from the Kea'au, Paradise Park, and Waiakea (Rescue Company 2) Fire Stations along with Battalion 1 and Chopper 1 responded to the scene located offshore of Ha'ena Beach (also known as Shipman Beach) in Puna.

Upon the arrival of HFD crews, reports came in that opihi picker (described as being a 32-year-old male) was along the cliffside near Ha'ena Beach when a large wave swept him off the cliffside into the ocean. A High Surf Advisory was in effect at the time of the incident with swells of 6 to 10-feet were expected on Tuesday.

Once HFD crews arrived on scene, Chopper 1 personnel located the male in the waters offshore of Ha'ena Beach. HFD Fire-Rescue Specialist was deployed from Chopper 1 into the water. From there, they were able to retrieve the male party utilizing a Billy Pugh Net (rescue net) and brought him back to shore safely.

HFD Medics and personnel at Ha'ena Beach conducted a medical assessment on the male party, however refusing further medical treatment or transport at the scene. The 32-year-old male reported to have suffered only minor injuries.

HFD crews remind the public to please be aware of weather and ocean conditions and also check the latest weather forecast/advisories before setting out on outdoor adventures for their own safety and also for the safety of emergency personnel.

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