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DLNR News Release: DOCARE Patrol Reports 25-Foot Wave Off Diamond Head

Posted on Jul 17, 2022 in Newsroom

(HONOLULU) – The highest south shore surf in more than 25-years delivered as predicted. An officer with the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE), estimates one wave off Diamond Head this morning, topped 25-feet in height.

DOCARE Lt. Vance Lime (lee may) and Officer Maui Lee, patrolled the ocean from Maunalua Bay to Waikīkī on jet skis this morning. Lime explained that Maunalua Bay is one of the Ocean Recreation Management Areas (ORMAs) that does not have a designated tow-in surfing area. “Since swells of this type don’t happen very often on O‘ahu’s south shore, we worried that the event would be too appealing to resist,” Lime said.

During episodes of massive surf, tow-in by jet ski is popular with expert surfers. “Apparently everyone got the word about our presence, and we did not observe any violations. I did pluck one surfer from the water who broke his board outside China Walls on the eastern edge of the bay.”

A pleasure craft, reported by its operators as grounded on Saturday, was still bobbing in the surf at the wave break, this morning. The 26-foot-long pleasure craft washed onto the reef because of swells. The two people on board swam safely to shore and there’s no word on when their boat will be recovered.

Another pair of DOCARE officers were stationed at the boat launch ramp at the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor. They advised surfers and jet ski operators of the ORMA restrictions and warned anyone who continued about the dangerous sea conditions and asked them to stay within their limits. Officers were also available to assist ocean safety personnel as needed.

Lime said on Saturday there were tow-ins happening outside of the Castles surf break, and it was expected to have the biggest sets today. “However, the Diamond Head area definitely had the biggest surf we saw during our patrol,” Lime added.

Surfers using jet skis were advised to move to the area off the reef runway at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.

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(All images/video courtesy: DLNR)

HD video – South shore surf-DOCARE patrol (July 17, 2022):

Photographs – South shore surf-DOCARE patrol (July 17, 2022):

Media Contact: 

Dan Dennison

Senior Communications Manager

Hawai’i Dept. of Land and Natural Resources

[email protected]