ANINI — Rescuers continue to search for a female visitor in waters off Anini Beach after she was apparently swept out to sea while swimming Monday evening.
Her identity has not yet been released.
According to a preliminary report, the 22-year-old Maryland woman entered the water at the north-end of Anini Beach, when she became distressed and called out to her friend for help. The friend, a Kapaa man, jumped into the water to assist her, when he then got caught in a rip current and became distressed.
Witnesses called 911 shortly after 6 p.m. Firefighters arrived on scene to find a bystander on a paddle board assisting the distressed male swimmer roughly 150 yards from shore. A firefighter on a rescue board helped to bring in the male victim safely to the beach, while a firefighter on jet ski searched for the woman.
The 37-year-old Kapaa man was treated by responding medics and released at the scene.
Firefighters on jet ski continued their search for the woman until nightfall but could not locate her. At that point, the U.S. Coast Guard continued the search throughout the night with its MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and Cutter.
The air, land and sea-based search resumed this morning with personnel from the Kauai Fire Department, the Ocean Safety Bureau, the Kauai Police Department and the Coast Guard. Assets used in today’s search include the Coast Guard Cutter and Dolphin helicopter, Rescue 3 aboard Air 1, firefighters on Jet Ski, and OSB’s North Shore Roving Patrol Unit on Jet Ski.
Despite the National Weather Service downgrading to a high surf advisory (from yesterday’s high surf warning), Ocean Safety officials continue to advise no swimming at all North Shore beaches, west of the Hanalei Pavilion to Kee Beach, and at Anini Beach. Entering the water in these areas could result in severe injury or death.
Officials urge beachgoers to heed all posted warnings.
For an updated ocean advisory, speak to a lifeguard, call the Ocean Safety Bureau at 241-4984, or visit the National Weather Service website at www.weather.gov/hawaii.