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Sunday, March 29, 2015

When Conditions Get Dangerous In The Pacific

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Jeff Kozolvich and Steve Haumschild frequently escort people across the Molokai Channel between the Hawaiian islands of Molokai and Oahu including Poland's Boguslaw Ogrodnik today.

The local pair knows extraordinarily well through experience about the inherent risk of being in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, especially when things get windy, swollen and turbulent in this channel.

Kozolvich recalls one incident back in August 2014 in his characteristically low-key manner:

"Little extra excitement today. Steve Haumschild and I were heading to Molokai on a boat with someone who wanted to paddle from Molokai to Oahu, no big deal, we do this stuff all the time.

Conditions went from bad to disastrous really fast, waves washing over the bow, 30-35 mph winds, you get the picture. We got out life jackets, I grabbed my fins, and we jumped. Once the boat flipped on it side, we were able to cut the three kayaks off and tie them together, but no paddles. 8 of us in the water miles from land, thank goodness for technology and water proof phones.

U.S. Coast Guard helicopter took us all to Sandy Beach. Shout out to US Coast Guard Hawaii, Honolulu Fire Dept, HPD and C & C Honolulu EMS for their assistance. All are a little dazed but all are perfectly OK

A local news report by Hawaii News Now on the incident and rescue is here.

Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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