In normal conditions, on beaches where there are lifeguards, the ocean is relatively safe to play. But conditions can change, and the surf can get big, rip currents form, and swimming can become dangerous at even what appear to be the tamest of beaches.
At beaches with lifeguards, look out for orange high-surf flags in the sand. If they are present, visit the lifeguard stand to read or talk to a lifeguard about the conditions.
Keep in mind that the county almost never closes beaches during dangerous conditions. Flags and warnings will also not be up outside of lifeguard hours. It is up to you to understand that Hawaii’s oceans can become dangerous, and that it requires each individual’s attention, respect and understanding of conditions.
If you ever get caught in a rip-current, please keep in mind the three most important things to your survival:
Conserve your energy -Don’t fight
Remain calm and conserve your energy. Float, breathe and don’t panic. Always remember that you can not escape the current by swimming against it.
Swim parallel to shore
If you swim parallel to the shoreline, you can escape the current. When out of the current, swim at an angle towards shore.
You can easily float in the current, do not panic if it is taking you further from shore than you believe you can swim. Waive your hands for help and wait calmly for assistance.
You can get current beach conditions, warnings, and safety tips here.