Maui News

Swell delivers as predicted: 25-foot wave face reported off Diamond Head

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Diamond Head surf. (7.17.22) PC: DLNR Hawaiʻi

An officer with the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement, estimates one wave off Diamond Head this morning, topped 25-feet in height. Itʻs the highest south shore surf reported in more than 25-years, according to the department.

DOCARE Lt. Vance Lime 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 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. 

South shore surf-DOCARE patrol (July 17, 2022) PC: DLNR Hawaiʻi.

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,” said Lime. 


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. 

China walls, South shore surf-DOCARE patrol (July 17, 2022) PC: DLNR Hawaiʻi.

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, according to DLNR. 


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