There are few big wave surfing competitions as famous as Hawaii’s The Eddie. While surfers head to Oahu’s North Shore with an understanding of the dangers, spectators who don’t listen to lifeguards can also find themselves in a dangerous situation.
@matadornetwork Tourists in Hawaii need to respect the word of lifeguards and the power of Mother Nature on the islands. Unfortunately, too many visitors disregard this warning and wind up in trouble, needing help from lifeguards who save lives every day. Just a reminder to always listen to the professionals regarding ocean safety — it could save you from disaster! When it comes to surviving crashing waves, the safest location in water over your waist is beneath, not above, the whitewater of breaking waves. Put your head down and fingertips in the sand below as you face the approaching wave and duck rather than diving. Never turn your back on the waves while paddling, swimming, or walking back to the beach. Source: oceantoday.noaa.gov 🎥 @808_fuel 📍#waimeabay, Hawaii #crashingwaves #highsurf #oceansafety #lifeguards #hawaiitok ♬ original sound – Matador Network
A video from January 22 shows tourists who had moved past the caution tape despite a lifeguard ordering them to pick up their gear and move as the waves come in. After the first wave, the crowd still doesn’t back away and another wave comes. You can hear the person filming the video yell “the kids!” and see a child who has to be saved by a lifeguard.
Unfortunately, this is nothing new for Hawaii’s lifeguards. Inexperienced tourists routinely need to be saved — a problem that wouldn’t be as prevalent of an issue if people followed “malama,” which translates to “to care for” and is a responsible practice of living with nature.
@megncheeese Lifeguard was roasting parents life for being a bad parent and not listening to him when he told everyone to get their kids back #theeddie #eddieaikauinvitational #waimeabay ♬ original sound – Meg
The Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational is a famous big wave surfing competition held in memory of Hawaiian surfing legend Eddie Aikau. The competition is held at Waimea Bay on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii, and is only held when the waves reach a minimum of 20 feet (or 40-foot faces) or higher. The event typically takes place between December and February and is considered one of the most prestigious and challenging big wave surfing competitions in the world.
The Eddie’s strong currents can pull swimmers, surfers, and anyone who gets swept away in the waves away from the shore and make it difficult for them to return to safety. The waves and surges can be unpredictable. Staying out of the water and at a safe distance (which lifeguards will clearly demarcate) is the best way to avoid unnecessary risks and put extra strain on the people working to save lives on the water every day.
If you want to see the competition safely in person, there are guided tours hosted by experts and helicopter tours for an up-high perspective. But the most important thing is always to follow instructions from lifeguards and stay within the designated boundaries.