In normal conditions, 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.
Maui only has seven beach parks with lifeguards. They are:
Baldwin Beach Park
Hoʻokipa Beach Park
Kanaha Beach Park
Kamaʻole Beach Park
Makena Big Beach
D.T. Fleming Beach Park
Hanakaʻoʻo Beach Park
At our beaches with lifeguards (we mark them with ) 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 virtually never closes beaches, or places special warnings on unguarded beaches during dangerous conditions. Flags and warnings will also not be up on guarded beaches 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.
Float in the current, do not panic if it is taking you further from shore than you believe you can swim. You will be released, and you will need all of your energy.
Rip currents will release you
When out of the current, swim at an angle, out of the rip, towards shore. There are often currents heading in to shore adjacent to rips, take advantage of them. If you can not make it in, waive your hands for help and wait calmly for assistance.
Current beach conditions, warnings, and safety tips:
Maui County Ocean Safety Pamphlet (PDF)
Maui County Ocean Safety Guide
Maui County Safety Video