The NOAA weather buoy mariners and surfers use to check north swells is adrift.
The buoy broke free of its 10,683-foot-long tether on Friday. It is now about 165 miles northwest of Lihu’e, rather than its normal anchorage 190 miles to the northwest.
The NOAA is reporting that the buoy is still reporting wave heights, water temperature and other information.
The Coast Guard cutter Kukui is scheduled to depart Friday to retrieve the $160,000 buoy. The National Data Buoy Center
Large winter swells have repeatedly hit the North Shore and Westside of Kaua’i and O’ahu during this El Nino weather system winter surf season.